Lynn Paltrow to Speak

Lynn Paltrow

Lynn M. Paltrow, a legal scholar, feminist advocate, and founder and executive director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women, will speak from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5 in Hall of Letters 100.

Her lecture will touch on everything from reproductive rights and human rights to political and public policy debates around abortion, birth control and health care.

Dr. Jennifer Nelson, associate professor and Director of the Women’s and Gender Studies program, invited Paltrow to speak for a number of reasons, but primarily to shed light on the dynamics involved in pregnancy.

“I am teaching a course this fall called ‘Pregnancy and Power’ in which we read widely about how women’s experiences of pregnancy are mediated by contestations around social and political power,” Nelson said. “We cover abortion, birth control, sexuality education, sterilization and eugenics among other topics. I wanted my students and others on campus to hear Lynn because she has a unique perspective on issues of pregnancy and power.”

Paltrow is an advocate for all pregnant women, and “discusses women’s experiences of pregnancy from a human rights perspective that emphasizes both women’s rights to prevent a pregnancy (or end a pregnancy) as well as women’s rights to be pregnant and carry that pregnancy to term,” Nelson said. “Often it is women with the fewest resources who find it most difficult to prevent pregnancy, end a pregnancy or carry a healthy pregnancy to term. Lynn’s organization, Advocates for Pregnant Women, advocates for all women to be able to realize their reproductive rights, whether that means having a child or not.”

According to Nelson, Paltrow will also talk about reproductive rights since Roe v. Wade and how efforts to define “fetal personhood” have particularly impacted women’s access to reproductive rights.

“Women in many counties in many states do not have a single abortion provider, thus they have to travel for an abortion and then face other hurdles like waiting periods or counseling before they can terminate a pregnancy legally,” she said. “Other women who want to carry their pregnancy to term may be subject to arrest or mandated medical procedures like cesarean surgery. While many people are aware of debates around Roe v. Wade, fewer are aware of these other issues.”

This event is free and open to the public.

Posted: Oct. 25, 2013
Written by: Catherine Garcia

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