You can find books on books on books that detail and describe abortion and the history of contraceptives and how society constructed abortion as a women’s issue.
Eugenics and force sterilization of women of color and poor women, on the other hand, is glaringly silent in all of these…
We can discuss how the rhetoric behind abortion is used on contemporary discussions on gender and sexuality - but not how eugenics rhetoric is still used as an attack against poor women with children, and “welfare queens”
Yup. There are interesting (read: troubling) connections between eugenics and Planned Parenthood in its early days, as well as between environmental and eugenics discourses recently.
We can also discuss, as we did in a most excellent course I took on NGOs and nonprofits, the way this is perpetuated abroad. The intersection of saving brown women with eugenics and environmental discourse (the ‘population bomb’) leads to the distribution of contraception with the goal of limiting brown women’s fertility. Predictably the favoured methods are implants, shots, IUDs, sterilization… anything that, once implanted, is fairly hands-off, which simplifies records-keeping and the work in general (because doing sex ed is harder and condoms or birth control pills have to be distributed more regularly and donors and workers don’t necessarily trust their clients to actually use them).
This is a classic example of systemic oppression, because the kind of causes that can get money are the ones that are in line with hegemonic discourses and the interests of the wealthy. And people don’t question the NGO/non-profit system very much, even though it’s set up more to look good and get more money than to really help the people it’s supposed to help. Even when there are really good workers on the ground (and this is not always the case) who understand local needs they often can’t get funding because of the way things are set up.
Sadly I don’t have that syllabus for that course currently, but for anyone who wants to read about how forced sterilization and access to contraception has played out in the States, I highly recommend Andrea Smith’s Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide (which addresses other issues as well, and all from an American Indian perspective).
can I insert one tangentially related thing on the topic of the population bomb? I remember they made us watch it in social studies/world geography in High School. This idea that unknown people in far distant parts of the world are over-populating, having too many kids and using up the worlds resources and cause the world to explode.
Lets ignore that it is the west, and the world’s wealthiest 20% use about 80% of the worlds resources. But lets teach kids in HS to blame all of the worlds problems on people who live in developing nations who are toiling away to provide us with our coffee, electronics at slave labor prices so we can send NGOs there to sterilize them.