Policing the Womb, Michele Goodwin


A few quotes and notes:

“… pregnancy as a proxy for punishment …” (p.x)

But only for the women, even though the men are mostly responsible for causing the pregnancy (males have 100% control over ejaculation in a vagina; females have no control over whatsoever over ovulation and very seldom force a man to ejaculate in her vagina).  The impregnator of Sanchez (forced to give birth in a jail cell without any medical assistance) isn’t even mentioned, let alone similarly punished.  We need to police the penis.

I read on and am amazed at how absent the man is from all this discussion of pregnancy and abortion.  It’s as if pregnancy just comes out of nowhere rather than being the result of a conscious decision on the part of some man.

Instead of decades of books and legal cases agonizing over abortion, why haven’t there been decades of books and legal cases about impregnation?  Maybe we should be prohibiting that except in certain circumstances (such as, for starters, the signing of a contract pledging half of the cost of an abortion or childbirth, six years of complete financial support for the child and whoever takes responsibility for looking after it, and another twelve years of  half of the financial support for the child).

And about the whole ‘no foreign aid unless you agree NOT to provide abortion or even inform women of contraception’ policies (chap9)—so irrational!  Wouldn’t those in charge of providing foreign aid want to encourage abortion?  Or at least information about contraception?  Because that would reduce the amount of foreign aid required!

“Legislators frame pregnancy as being controlled and conditioned by women.” (p198).  Indeed.  All of a sudden, men deny agency, deny power.  How curious.

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