By Cynthia R. Daniels
A few say the fetus is the "tiniest citizen." if that is so, then the our bodies of ladies themselves became political arenas--or, contemporary circumstances recommend, battlefields; A cocaine--addicted mom is convicted of drug trafficking throughout the umbilical twine. girls staff at a battery plant needs to turn out infertility to maintain their jobs. A terminally ailing girl is compelled to endure a cesarean part. not all in favour of notion or motherhood, the recent politics of fetal rights makes a speciality of fertility and being pregnant itself, on a woman's courting with the fetus. How precisely, Cynthia Daniels asks, does this impact a woman's rights? Are they various from a man's? and the way has the kingdom helped make certain the variation? The solutions, carefully pursued all through this publication, provide us a transparent inspect the state's paradoxical function in gender politics--as either a challenger of injustice and an agent of social keep an eye on. In benchmark criminal situations desirous about pressured clinical therapy, fetal protectionism within the office, and drug and alcohol use and abuse, Daniels indicates us nation strength at paintings within the fight among fetal rights and women's rights. those instances increase severe questions about the influence of gender on women's status as electorate, and in regards to the courting among kingdom strength and gender inequality. totally appreciating the problems of every case, the writer probes the subtleties of varied positions and their implications for a deeper realizing of ways a woman's reproductive power impacts her dating to kingdom strength. In her research, the necessity to guard women's correct to self--sovereignty turns into transparent, yet so does the necessity to outline additional the very suggestions of self-sovereignty and privateness. The depth of the controversy over fetal rights indicates the intensity of the present gender difficulty and the strength of the sentiments of social dislocation generated via reproductive politics. Breaking in the course of the public mythology that clouds those debates, At Women's cost makes a hopeful starting towards releasing woman's physique in the physique politic.
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Extra info for At Women's Expense: State Power and the Politics of Fetal Rights
10 Although in many cases these women, their lawyers, and their allies have been able to turn back attempts to enforce medical treatment on the grounds of fetal rights, one must also acknowledge that the forces which gave rise to forced medical treatment cases will continue to throw into question women's right to bodily integrity and self-sovereignty. What could be the grounds for such interventions? That the woman patient is not mentally competent? The right to bodily integrity for pregnant women has been compromised even when they are fully competent by any standard, that is, when they are fully conscious, aware of the choices before them, and explicit in their refusal to be treated.
As Parness states, "One major goal of the criminal law is to deter specific antisocial acts. Accordingly, criminal law utilizes the threat of punishment as a means of promoting proper social conduct. "57 Statutes promoting respect for the unborn must provide "punishment that looms large in the minds of those who might act negatively toward the unborn.... "60 While such advocates acknowledge that such actions could be legitimate "only under the most extraordinary circumstances," they insist that "involuntary evaluation and treatment do occur rather frequently in mental health cases and cannot be ruled out in some prenatal neglect or abuse cases," even in cases where pregnant women are mentally competent by all legal standards.
But a child that is housed by the mother can also be made homeless by her; a child that is fed by the mother can also be poisoned by her. The power of the pregnant woman to nourish and contain the fetus became a power that could be appropriated by others and used against her. The Emergence of Fetal Rights 29 As the fetus gained ideological, legal, and political independence from the woman, it came also to be seen as public property, to be treated independently by doctors, protected in utero by the courts, and retrieved by the state, if necessary, after birth.