Category Archives: Policing pregnancy

Policing pregnancy: the new attack on women’s autonomy

Next year, 2018, will mark the centenary of British women gaining the right to vote. It was a qualified right, restricted to a particular section of women, but a crucial step forwards in the fight for women’s equality, leading quickly to the extension of suffrage in 1928. And look where we are now. Two female […]

What do young people in Britain really think about abortion?

Polls can tell us something about attitudes, and statistics can tell is something about behaviour. But they can’t tell us everything we want to know. We know that young people have abortions. In 2013, there were 127,000 abortions to women under the age of 30, out of a total of 185,000 for all women in […]

What’s the problem with older mothers?

This Q&A reviews the scientific and medical debates about later motherhood, seeking a balance between understanding the biological barriers to having babies in later life, and the lived reality – that many women do have healthy pregnancies in their late thirties. It situates this discussion in its wider social context, and indicates the policy implications […]

The politics of childbirth

In her new book Bumpology, the British science journalist Linda Geddes aims to ‘investigate the truth behind the old wives’ tales, alarming newspaper headlines and government guidelines’ that frame a woman’s pregnancy in the twenty-first century. Though her research led her to question the orthodoxy on drinking alcohol in pregnancy and exclusive breastfeeding, what ‘most […]

The ‘generation war’ over abortion rights

A generation war seems to have erupted in the US pro-choice movement. A front-page feature article in Time magazine, published in the 14 January edition, began with the bold statement: ‘Abortion-rights activists won an epic victory in Roe v Wade. They’ve been losing ever since’. The author, Kate Pickert, sees the famous US Supreme Court ruling […]