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Selective reproduction and neoliberal eugenics in South Africa and India

This book analyses the world of selective reproduction – the politics of who gets to legitimately reproduce the future – by a cross-cultural analysis of three modes of ‘controlling’ birth: contraception, reproductive violence, and repro-genetic technologies. The premise is that as fertility rates decline worldwide, the fervour to control fertility, and fertile bodies, does not dissipate; what evolves is the preferred mode of control. Although new technologies, for instance those that assist conception and/or allow genetic selection, may appear to be the antithesis of violent versions of population control, the book demonstrates that both are part of the same continuum. Much as all population control policies target and vilify (Black) women for their over-fertility, and coerce/induce them into subjecting their bodies to state and medical surveillance, assisted reproductive technologies and repro-genetic technologies have a similar and stratified burden of blame and responsibility based on gender, race, class, and caste. The book includes contributions from two postcolonial nations – South Africa and India – where the history of colonialism and the economics of neoliberal markets allow for some parallel moments of selecting who gets to legitimately reproduce the future. The book provides a critical interdisciplinary and cutting-edge dialogue around the interconnected issues that shape reproductive politics in an ostensibly ‘post-population control’ era. The contributions range from gender studies, sociology, medical anthropology, politics, science and technology studies, to theology, public health, epidemiology and women’s health, with the aim of facilitating an interdisciplinary dialogue around the interconnected modes of controlling birth and practices of neo-eugenics.

Young women’s experiences of access to reproductive health in southern Africa
Kezia Batisai

strives to hold governments accountable under international human rights law’ (Amnesty International, 2017 : 7). This chapter argues that southern African countries domesticate international policies that govern reproductive health in a way that perpetuates reproductive violence, defined here as the institutional or structural, physical and emotional violence that women suffer in their effort to access termination of pregnancy services. The liberty to domesticate international policies and treaties, in the context of reproductive violence and

in Birth controlled
Amrita Pande

and class, can be observed as early as the 1930s, and during the time of the Great Depression. The starkness of these programmes of (selective) birth control allows comparisons between birth control and other instances of reproductive violence. In the 1930s, a eugenic take on population control influenced one set of policy makers to take policy measures of a surprising, racialised nature – targeting the population of low-income whites in urban areas in order to prevent a ‘national decline of the entire white race’ (Klausen, 2004 ). Although such eugenicists (for

in Birth controlled

The book explores the relationship between violence against women on one hand, and the rights to health and reproductive health on the other. It argues that violation of the right to health is a consequence of violence, and that (state) health policies might be a cause of – or create the conditions for – violence against women. It significantly contributes to feminist and international human rights legal scholarship by conceptualising a new ground-breaking idea, violence against women’s health (VAWH), using the Hippocratic paradigm as the backbone of the analysis. The two dimensions of violence at the core of the book – the horizontal, ‘interpersonal’ dimension and the vertical ‘state policies’ dimension – are investigated through around 70 decisions of domestic, regional and international judicial or quasi-judicial bodies (the anamnesis). The concept of VAWH, drawn from the anamnesis, enriches the traditional concept of violence against women with a human rights-based approach to autonomy and a reflection on the pervasiveness of patterns of discrimination (diagnosis). VAWH as theorised in the book allows the reconceptualisation of states’ obligations in an innovative way, by identifying for both dimensions obligations of result, due diligence obligations, and obligations to progressively take steps (treatment). The book eventually asks whether it is not international law itself that is the ultimate cause of VAWH (prognosis).

Contested vocabularies of birth violence
Rachelle Chadwick

of the critical vocabulary of ‘obstetric violence’ is an important advance in the feminist theorisation of and struggle against birth violence, I conclude that we need to develop a more sophisticated and explicitly anti-capitalist analysis that recognises the roots of reproductive violence in global capitalocentric (and racist) formations. Histories of birth violence Birth violence is not a new phenomenon. However, efforts to explicitly name coercion, mistreatment, and abuse during childbirth as forms

in Birth controlled
Abstract only
Amrita Pande

entanglements between biology and politics are central to each contribution and bind together Part I of the volume – Birth projects. The first chapter provides a brief overview of the birth projects underlying each of the contributions that follow. I specifically analyse three such birth projects – population control, reproductive violence, and assisted reproduction – in these two countries. These three modes of controlling birth continue to connect the volume thematically. This chapter provides context to the rest of the volume but, just as critically, underlines the main

in Birth controlled
Unpacking intentionality in obstetric violence
Sreeparna Chattopadhyay

interwoven with the domestic and the transnational politics of global health. Such solidarities will foreground women in women's health, rather than instrumentalising outcomes for children, families, communities, and countries. 6 Conclusion In this chapter, I argue that while it is helpful to conceptualise obstetric violence as a type of gender-based reproductive violence, not all forms of mistreatment, neglect, or poor quality of care that women encounter in Indian

in Birth controlled
Open Access (free)
Reconceptualising states’ obligations in countering VAWH
Sara De Vido

l’état’, p. 369) considered the provision of compensation an obligation of result, whereas the adoption of specific measures could be either an obligation of result or an obligation of means. 191 Bassiouni, ‘International recognition of victims’ rights’, p. 231. 192 C. Duggan and R. Jacobson, ‘Reparation of sexual and reproductive violence. Moving from codification to implementation’, in Rubio-Marín, The Gender of Reparations 121, p. 148. 193 M. Urban Walker, ‘Gender and violence in focus: A background for gender justice in reparations’, in Rubio-Marín, The

in Violence against women’s health in international law