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Sexualities PERSONHOOD UNDER PATRIARCHY: Reproductive Justice in Arizona and Beyond


Performance | History | Healthcare | Education
Free event with registration
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About this event
Groundbreaking medical, legal, and social changes separated sexuality from reproduction in the 20th century. In the 21st century, this revolutionary change in sexuality came under fire, as state laws became increasingly important for access to sexual health services in the U.S. In the post-Roe landscape, states like Arizona have fetus-centered laws that affect anyone who is or can become pregnant, including those who plan to carry their pregnancies to term.

In this talk, Sociology Professor Louise Marie Roth will explore legal cases and birth trends that illustrate the implications of fetus-centered and woman-centered approaches to pregnancy for evidence-based care during pregnancy, miscarriage, and birth. She will argue that an emphasis on fetal personhood has the effect of negating personhood for fertile women. An approach focusing on women, as well as others who can become pregnant, is necessary for reproductive justice, especially for poor people, youth, and people of color.

About the Speaker
Louise Marie Roth is a professor in the School of Sociology in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Her primary research interests are gender, organizations, law, and health. Her book The Business of Birth: Malpractice and Maternity Care in the United States examines how state laws governing medical malpractice and reproductive rights influence maternity care practices in the United States. Her current research focuses on the effects of state-level reproductive rights laws and health insurance policies on maternity care and racial-ethnic inequality in birth outcomes since the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010.


The 2022 Downtown Lecture Series will focus on Sexualities, exploring the complex ways that gender and sexuality shape our lives, from the intimate to the institutional. Curated by anthropologist Eric Plemons, this year’s series will address the cultural impacts of drag performance, 19th-century sex scandals, reproductive justice, and how gender and sexuality are taught (or not taught) in schools.

Launched in 2013, the Downtown Lecture Series was created to bring the university and Tucson community together in vibrant downtown Tucson to learn about topics that relate to our everyday lives. Over the years, SBS faculty – along with university and community colleagues – have shared their expertise, adding both clarity and complexity to important and fascinating social topics. The series has focused on happiness, food, immortality, privacy, truth and trust in the global scene, music, animals, woman power, and compassion.

More info on the specific speakers and topics can be found by clicking here, which will take you to the college’s website.

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