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Main : disability, human rights, non-fiction, pregnancy

ISBN: 9781876756598
0.440 kgs
215 x 137 mm
338 pp
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Defiant Birth: Women Who Resist Medical Eugenics
Melinda Tankard Reist (ed.)
eBook version will be emailed

In the face of widespread discrimination against the disabled and a eugenic culture which pathologises disability and crushes diversity, comes a new book which radically challenges the status quo. Defiant Birth: Women Who Resist Medical Eugenics, tells the personal stories of women who have resisted medical eugenics - women who were told they shouldn't have babies because of perceived disability in themselves or because of some imperfection in the child. They have confronted the stigma of disability and in the face of silent disapproval and even open hostility, had their children anyway, in the belief that all life is valuable and that some are not more worthy of it than others.

This is a book about women who have dared challenge the utilitarian medical model/mindset. Disparaged and treated as pariahs for departing from accepted medical wisdom they have chosen non-compliance with medical/social prejudice and defiantly said yes to their babies, and no to the cult of perfection.

eBook version will be emailed ( pdf mobi epub )
In stock.


Podcast Melinda Tankard Reist speaks to 3CR's Helen Lobato

Write a review.
Most difficult to read are the stories of women with varying types of disabilities, for which they were counseled not to risk a pregnancy, and who persisted, often more than once. Societal pressures and prejudices are most evident here. These women describe in blunt words, an extraordinary degree of coercion, by medical experts, not to mother. ...a useful educational tool for raising discussion among students in health care or public health today, as genetic testing becomes more developed and widely available each year.  Readers may disagree vehemently with the negative perspectives on testing, but may benefit from hearing how others who hold a differing view actually feel.
Donna Jackson-Kohlin, Journal of Midwifery and Women's Health
The real-life stories in this book give important and heartful perspectives that balance the usual medical advice to terminate any pregnancy where the baby has an abnormality... Highly recommended for parents, professionals involved with prenatal testing, and all who are interested in the ethics and future of pregnancy.
Dr Sarah J Buckley
The stories ... lay bare how simplistic - even dangerous - are offers of 'choice' when society limits the childbearing options for women and judges anyone less than 'perfect' as disposable.
Beth Burrows, Logos
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