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Biopolitical Control Of Specific Groups Of Women Essay

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Since the late 19th century, women’s reproductive health choices in the United States have become increasingly controlled (Solinger, 2013). Abortion, contraceptives, sterilization and even pregnancy itself have become biological processes (Foucault, 2003) that place women in the public eye; their choices becoming the targets of policy and regulation (Solinger, 2013; Foucault, 2003). When these regulations are crafted, the assumption behind them is that they will affect all women equally (Pruitt & Vanegas, 2015). However, there are various factors that change the way that policy and regulation of reproductive health affect women. My dissertation topic will focus on how biopolitical control of specific groups of women is achieved through broadly applied legislation targeting reproductive health. This includes legislation that targets access to abortion, defunds reproductive health care access providers such as Planned Parenthood, and that further medicalizes birth. My theoretical frameworks will center on the work of Patricia Hill Collins and Michel Foucault.
To begin, Patricia Hill Collins’ work on intersectionality would provide an appropriate background to introduce how lived experiences are shaped by a culmination of different factors (Hill
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Biopolitics is a theoretical framework that states that individuals are not truly individual, but rather a group that can be controlled by entities such as governments through the regulation of biological processes including birth and death (Foucault, 2003). When legislation that controls reproduction is passed, it effects biopolitical control of women by controlling their biological processes (Foucault, 2003). When we combine biopolitics with intersectionality, we can examine how higher biopolitical control of certain groups of women is achieved through legislation that targets reproductive health care
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