On Pregnancy as Labor

10.02.2011 § Leave a comment

we are surprised/excited to see a mainstream publication do a
piece about reproductive labor —

Its not the most comprehensive analysis
of course, but maybe its an idea worth expanding upon. It takes
reproductive labor to a whole other level when you think about how
much it fucks up your body, and the potential of a painful death (that
often, doctors/medicine won’t give a shit about), not to mention
post-partum depression and the servitude of “motherhood.” What other
kind labor so profoundly fucks you up physically/emotionally like
pregnancy does?

“For reasons beyond me, childbirth–in the popular American mind–is swaddled in gossamer, gift-wrap, and icing. Beneath the pastel Hallmark cards and baby showers, behind the flowers, lies a truth encoded, still, in our wording, but given only minimal respect–the charge of shepherding life is labor. It’s work. And you need only look to the immediate past, or you need only look around the world, or you need only come close to losing the love of your small, young life to understand a correlating truth–pregnancy is potentially lethal work.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been studying the seminary movement in the South during the mid-19th century. In these all-female boarding schools, women found a security and friendship that would elude them for the rest of their lives. Their parting notes to each other are filled with foreboding hints of early death. It’s not very hard to imagine why. As recently as the 1930s, the maternal death rate in this country was 900 per 100,000 births. “

 

aside from an opportunistic comment on Afghanistan and the implication that only the potential for women to die in childbirth justifies abortion, A+

Read full article from Atlantic here

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