Too often, in the debate over reproductive rights and technologies, we lose sight of the fundamental emotional and psychological issues that define the experience of pregnancy. Robin Gregg here draws on the words and stories of over thirty women to provide a first- hand perspective on pregnancy in the modern age.
In an age where a new advance in reproductive technology occurs seemingly every month, pregnancy has come to be defined by such medical procedures as prenatal screening, amniocentesis, fetal monitoring, induced labor, and cesarean sections. Public policymakers, ethicists, religious figures, and the medical establishment control the debate, drowning out the voices of women who grapple in the most immediate sense with the issues. Even feminist theorists often overlook the nuances and paradoxes of the reproductive revolution as experienced by individual, particular women.
The reader follows these thirty women as they speak about whether to become pregnant, and by what means; how to choose a health provider; what meaning they attribute to their pregnancies; and how they navigate their way through the contradictory pressures they face during pregnancy. The intimate nature of Gregg's research, consisting as it does largely of women's pregnancy narratives, lends her book a vibrancy often lacking in academic writing about reproduction.
"Wonderfully readable and insightful, Robin Gregg's book shows us how contemporary, privileged women actually experience pregnancy. Instead of fluffy femininity or mechanized patients, these women are careful decision-makers trying to gain control of one of the most important events in their lives. A tour de force!"
-Shulamit Reinharz, author of Feminist Methods in Social Research