Friday, June 3, 2016

New Scholarship on Reproductive Justice

Linda Edwards, Catherine Walsh, and Michelle Goodwin have recently published articles on reproductive justice.  The abridged abstracts follow:

Hearing Voices: Non-Party Stories in Abortion and Gay Rights Advocacy, by Linda Edwards:

Among the amicus briefs filed in Thornburgh v. American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists  (1986) was one submitted by the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL). Like the famous "Brandeis Brief" in Muller v. Oregon (1908), the NARAL brief relies on sources outside the trial court record. Unlike the Brandeis Brief, however, the NARAL brief does not treat women as the objects of social science research. Instead, living, breathing women, speaking with the first-person pronoun “I,” tell their own abortion stories.  This article tells the story of that first “voices” brief, its young author, and its amazing civil rights legacy.

Inadequate Access: Reforming Reproductive Health Care Policies for Women Incarcerated in New York State Correctional Facilities, by Catherine Walsh:

Women in New York State prisons face poor-quality care and assaults on their basic human dignity and reproductive rights.  Three issues of particular concern are incarcerated women’s access to gynecological examinations, sanitary supplies, and contraception. This article examines New York State policies addressing reproductive health care for incarcerated women, identifies problems with them, and makes recommendations for reform. perspectives. It recommends bringing New York’s policies in line with legal, medical, and international standards and using existing federal and state programs to provide funding for reproductive care both prior to and after release.

The Pregnancy Penalty, by Michelle Goodwin:

A multitude of state actions serve to sanction and punish pregnant women. It is a fallacy that such punitive state actions “advance” women’s best interest while promoting informed consent. Poor women are symbolically and medically trapped civilly and criminally where extended wait periods, targeted regulations of abortion providers (TRAP laws), and other indignities  burden their constitutional rights. These issues take on a new urgency as lawmakers continue to undermine women’s health care rights.

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