Five Decades of “Semiotic” Fetal Imagery in the US: Part 2

This is the second of two articles on the history fetal imagery in the United States. The first post can be found here. The conflation of fetal rights and human rights extended into the 1990s and continued to obscure the rights of pregnant people. Liberals assembled around the rhetoric of “safe, legal, rare” to accommodate…

“bodies mutilated for the nation”: Reproductive Rights and Women of Color Across Time

Sydnee Wagner and Alicia Andrzejewski // “Colonizers want land, but indigenous bodies forming nations are in the way because they form a strong attachment to land and because they replicate indigeneity…[the colonizers] see Indigenous women’s and girls’ bodies as the bodies that reproduce nations”—Leanne Betasamosake Simpson Introduction Our title’s opening quote, “bodies mutilated for the…

A for Abortion: The Weaponized Vocabulary of a Medical Procedure

Lauren A. Mitchell//   The OED defines Abortion as, “The deliberate termination of a human pregnancy, most often performed during the first 28 weeks of pregnancy; The expulsion of a fetus from the uterus by natural causes before it is able to survive independently; An object or undertaking regarded by the speaker as unpleasant or badly…

The Myth of Miscarriage: An Early Modern Legacy

If a medical school student or resident looked up “miscarriage” in the index of Blueprints Obstetrics & Gynecology (2013), they would be directed to “spontaneous abortion.” Denoting a pregnancy that ends before 20 weeks, spontaneous abortion occurs in 15% to 25% of all pregnancies, and this “number may be even higher because losses that occur…

Ophelia’s Rue

In act 4, scene 5 of Hamlet, Ophelia gives away a number of flowers with medicinal properties, keeping only rue for herself: OPHELIA: There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance; pray you, love, remember. And there is pansies, that’s for thoughts. LAERTES: A document in madness, thoughts and remembrance fitted. OPHELIA: There’s fennel for you, and columbines….