Announcements. Change of key reading - Saxton (2006) r eading replaced with a shorter excerpt of it , available at : http :// www.gjga.org/conference.asp?action=item&source=documents&id=17
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Transformations: Gender, Reproduction, and Contemporary Society
Week 13: Whose Body Is It Anyway? The Politics of Abortion
Dr. Maria do Mar Pereira
Film directed by Mike Leigh (2004) and starring Imelda Staunton as 1950s Vera Drake, devoted wife and mother who helps working class women facing unwanted pregnancies by inducing miscarriages. She sees her activities as help to these women; the law and those around her see them as murder. When a woman dies in her care, Vera Drake is sentenced to 2½ years imprisonment.
BUT abortion is not just an ‘internal’, national issue – it is imbricated in broader relations of influence between countries.
The Section is offensive to many people; it reinforces negative stereotypes of disability and there is substantial support for the view that to permit terminations at any point during a pregnancy on the ground of risk of disability, while time limits apply to other grounds set out in the Abortion Act, is incompatible with valuing disability and non-disability equally.
“The message at the heart of widespread selective abortion on the basis of prenatal diagnosis is the greatest insult: some of us are "too flawed" at our very DNA core to exist, unworthy of being born. This message is painful to confront. It seems tempting to take on easier battles or even just to give in. But fighting for this issue, our right and worthiness to be born, is the fundamental challenge to disability oppression; it underpins our most basic claim to justice and equality: We are indeed worthy of being born, we are worth the help and expense, and we know it! The great opportunity with this issue is to think and act and take leadership in the place where feminism, disability rights and human liberation meet.”