While we’re taking a pause this week in our literary feminist interview series, there are too many wonderful voices out there to let the time pass in total silence.
And so it’s a pleasure to spotlight an interview with Jennifer Block over at RH Reality Check. Block is the author of Pushed: The Painful Truth About Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care, which explores the medicalization of pregnancy and birth in the U.S. As well, Block is a former editor at Ms. Magazine and an editor of the revised Our Bodies, Ourselves
RH Reality Check’s Amie Newman talks with Block about the overuse of medical technology in childbirth, the disconnect between pregnant women and their bodies, midwifery closings, class distinctions in maternal care, Block’s own journey writing and researching her book, and how childbirth fits into the feminist movement.
As Block says:
“In January, the National Advocates for Pregnant Women held a tremendous conference and challenged the pro-choice movement to advocate for pregnant women’s rights, not just abortion rights. I strongly agree. I think the VBAC ban is the most salient issue, and women’s health groups need to stand up and hold physicians, insurers, and hospitals accountable for effectively forcing women into unwanted surgery. But there’s a much larger issue of women’s access to optimal maternity care that feminists need to address. Some women are going to great lengths to access support for physiological birth, meanwhile most women are getting care that is not evidence-based and more likely to cause themselves or their babies harm. This should be of major concern to feminists. Women deserve better.”
Read the whole interview here And while you’re at it, check out the good work of ALACE (Association of Labor Assistants & Childbirth Educators); Citizens for Midwifery; and La Leche League. Not to mention Miriam Perez’s smashing article, “Being a Radical Doula,” from Campus Progress; Perez details how her pro-choice and birth rights advocacy fit together.