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2 - Reconceiving Pregnancy

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2012

Amy Mullin
Affiliation:
University of Toronto
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Summary

INTRODUCTION

As I suggested in the first chapter, it can seem that we have great respect for pregnancy, at least those pregnancies that occur in the context of approved relationships and that involve the reproduction of people considered socially desirable. But while a pregnant woman may be held to be of more value and interest because of her pregnancy, this is because of society's interest in the child she may give birth to, rather than an interest in what she experiences between conception and delivery. Very little attention is paid to pregnancy as an experience.

Pregnancy as an experience is chiefly thought of as something uncomfortable and inconvenient that women must manage or endure. Nature is far more likely to be presented as an agent (as we speak of letting nature take its course) than pregnant woman are. The only way women appear to act reflectively with respect to their pregnancies is by choosing to continue with or to end those pregnancies (if they in fact have those options). In this chapter, I wish to challenge both misconceptions of pregnancy I outlined in the first chapter: the assumption that pregnancies are significant only because they can lead to the birth of a child and the assumption that pregnancy is chiefly a bodily event, either a passive period of expectation or a time in which a pregnant woman and/or medical professionals practice surveillance and control over her body, out of concern for her health and for fetal well being.

Type
Chapter
Information
Reconceiving Pregnancy and Childcare
Ethics, Experience, and Reproductive Labor
, pp. 35 - 71
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2005

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  • Reconceiving Pregnancy
  • Amy Mullin, University of Toronto
  • Book: Reconceiving Pregnancy and Childcare
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511814280.003
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  • Reconceiving Pregnancy
  • Amy Mullin, University of Toronto
  • Book: Reconceiving Pregnancy and Childcare
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511814280.003
Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

  • Reconceiving Pregnancy
  • Amy Mullin, University of Toronto
  • Book: Reconceiving Pregnancy and Childcare
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511814280.003
Available formats
×