Cultural Conceptions: On Reproductive Technologies and the by Valerie Hartouni

By Valerie Hartouni

Booklet by means of Hartouni, Valerie

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Extra info for Cultural Conceptions: On Reproductive Technologies and the Remaking of Life

Sample text

They reassert the "voice of the natural" where this voice has been muted or silenced and thereby function, perhaps most importantly, as an indictment. Inasmuch as it is through women that this voice has traditionally spoken, fetal protection statutes imply by their mere existence that women have lost heart or touch with the deepest source of their identity and thus become not only dysfunctional but potentially dangerous. But fetal protection statutes tell only one story among many. 49 Early in the decade, there "emerges" a "condition" from which it is said an ever-increasing number of women are suffering—a condition that comes to be known as postabortion stress syndrome.

If there is any doubt about what women should find upon peering into their hearts, this discourse assuages them. 54 Echoing Aristotle and Hippocrates, Time's message is not particularly subtle: women's loss of biological function is linked to their denial of this function through the pursuit of nontraditional career paths and other activities. The natural expression or ultimate goals of female instincts are marriage, motherhood, and home; clearly unnatural and even "dangerous" are abortion, delayed childbearing, nonprocreative sex, and women's workforce participation.

28 Physician Michael R. Harrison puts the issue this way: The fetus could not be taken seriously [we might ask by whom] as long as he remained a medical recluse in an opaque womb; and it was not until the last half of this century that the prying eye of the ultrasound (that is, ultrasound visualization) rendered the once opaque womb transparent, stripping the veil of mystery from the dark inner sanctum, and letting the light of scientific observation fall on the shy and secretive fetus. . Sonography can accurately delineate normal and abnormal fetal anatomy with astounding detail.

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