The Book: It Must Be Real

I was in the middle of going through my “Fighting to Choose” manuscript yet again, when a Tweet from an ALRANZ comrade pointed me to the fact that The Book is now listed on Victoria University Press’s Web site as “forthcoming in 2013”. (And thankfully, the press managed to crop the Norfolk Pine that’s coming out of my head in that author pic.) So, it must be real.

I started this journey in 2007, researching and writing. So I figure it’s understandable if I continue to pinch myself, almost exactly 5 years later. Obviously there will be a lot more to come on the book, including in the second half of 2013, a wee book tour-slash-roadshow called the Pro-Choice Highway.

Also, an article I wrote, and gave as a talk, called (links to a PDF) “The Rise of the Fetal Citizen” has just been published in the Women’s Studies Journal. This abstract essentially explains what the paper is all about:

Woman + Fertilised Egg: The Metamorphosis. (Graphic by Zenaida)

Woman + Fertilised Egg: The Metamorphosis. (Graphic by Zenaida)

The use of fetal sounds and imagery in the cultural and political struggles over abortion has expanded markedly in  the past half century. Technologies like ultrasound have not only helped us see the fetus, but have played a crucial  role in the construction of value-laden notions about it. Biological facts have been used to leverage moral notions of, for example, what it means to be a ‘person’, ultimately leading us closer and closer to the creation of a new category of ‘fetal-citizen’. Assuming a continued improvement in medical understanding of and public access to fetal development, I consider the further impact that access might have on pregnant women and fetuses. Will it simply degrade the concepts of ‘person’ and ‘citizen’ beyond usefulness, or is it likely to usher in a Handmaid’s Tale dystopia in which reproduction is ever more tightly monitored and controlled? I conclude that we have already traveled quite some distance along what is essentially an uneasy combination of these two paths, and that  this trend is likely to continue.


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