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Citations on Intersex and Eugenics

start by reading other anti-eugenics materials

Forum: Intersexed_Society Yahoo! Group
Date: 06/26/2002

In response to a request for citation on doctors recommending abortions of intersex fetuses...

Hese are some of the references related to the abortions of fetuses prenatally diagnosed as having Turner's or Klinefelter's... I realize that these don't really answer the question about doctors' recommendations (i.e. pressures) to abort intersex kids, but it's a start. If anyone else have other citations I'd like to know them.

Geller, G., Tambor, E.S., Papiernik, E. (1993). "Attitudes toward abortion for fetal anomaly in the second vs. the third trimester: a survey of Parisian obstetricians." Prenatal Diagnosis, 13:8 707-22.

Mansfield, C., Hopfer, S., Marteau, T.M. (1999). "Termination rates after prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome, spina bifida, anencephaly, and Turner and Klinefelter syndromes: a systematic literature review." Prenatal Diagnosis, 19:9 808-12.

Also, to anyone who is writing papers or organizing around this issue: when we deal with the systemic erasure of intersex people at the level of controlling reproduction, we need to start by reading materials produced and researched by people with disabilities, people of color, poor people, etc. because there is a tremendous amount of scholarship and activism already done by many other people around the issues of reproductive control and eugenics. I said this at the recent queer disability conference at San Francisco State University, but the medical abuse of intersex children do not exist in vacuum: if there weren't already an overreaching system within the biomedical regeme that reduce people with various physical "differences" into their body parts, their treatment of intersex children (and here I'm not just talking about surgeries) would be so salient that it cannot happen.

When I taught the "Intersex Studies" course at Portland State University this past term, my students initially said things like "they would never do this to any other children!" and "it's not fair to treat intersex children as if they are disabled"; I changed my syllabus and used a selection from Eli Clare's book, "Exile and Pride: Queerness, Liberation, and Disability," as well as Lisa Blumberg's essay "Public Stripping," which showed the above points to the students.

Emi K.

-- * Putting the Emi back in Feminism since 1975.