This issue of Bad Subjects: Political Education for Everyday Life invites submission from 1k-3k words and original art work that provides insight into the many political, social, and cultural aspects of pregnancy and motherhood in contemporary America.
When it comes to attacks on pregnant women's health and choices, the personal truly is the political. Although abortion and reproductive health services have always been polemical topics, women's access to adequate health care is under fire at unprecedented levels. Women unfortunate to miscarry in states such as Alabama and Mississippi can face murder charges. Obama buckled under Conservative pressure, and now the Affordable Health Care for America Act includes restrictions on abortion coverage in insurance plans that use federal funds. Kansas nearly lost all of its abortion providers. Jon Kyl's lie—or rather, not-intended-to-be-a-factual-statement—on the Senate floor that a majority of Planned Parenthood's activities are abortion-related reinforced the misconception that the organization is only an "abortion mill," not a community resource that offers its patients low costs cancer screenings and reproductive health care.
Conservatives, who were so vocal against "Obamacare" and government involvement in health care, ironically advocate increased governmental interference and restrictions on women's access to health care. Why does possessing a uterus make a woman subject to government interference in her health care decisions? Family values proponents apparently only see value in women who aren't uppity enough to expect to be sovereign when it comes to their own health and fertility. A direct result of this culture milieu of good-girls-don't and abstinence-only education, abstinence pledges and purity balls are becoming more widespread. As teenagers don't have access to information, perhaps it's not surprising that teen pregnancy rates have increased.
America is looking more like the Republic of Gilead every day.
We welcome insightful commentary on topics related to pregnancy and motherhood in twenty-first century America. Submissions are due by September 16, 2011. Please submit essays in .rtf or .doc format. Authors do not have to submit graphics to accompany their pieces. However, if you choose to send a graphic, it must be submitted as a JPEG at 72 or 96 dpi. We favor intelligent writing for general audience, and discourage footnoted academic papers. Please see Guidelines for Submission (http://bad.eserver.org/faq/guidelines.html) for additional details. Send your pieces to Tamara Watkins, Instructor, American Culture and Language Institute, Northern Virginia Community College; and Mike Mosher, Professor, Department of Art, Saginaw Valley State University.
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