Deconstructing pregnancy: RU486, seeing "eggs," and the ambiguity of very early conceptions

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article deconstructs previous notions of pregnancy. Using empirical data from French women's experience with RU486 for medical abortion, I demonstrate that very early and unwanted conceptions have an ambiguous quality. I illustrate an understanding of pregnancy as a reproductive continuum: these women understand pregnancy to include a stage where "eggs," and not fetuses, are present. I discuss how the use of RU486 creates new ways of knowing about the fetus, and I compare an understanding of the fetus by women using RU486 with previous understandings from ultrasound images, in utero photography, and the imagination. I demonstrate that women's embodied knowledge can expand the parameters of fetal discourse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-108
Number of pages17
JournalMedical Anthropology Quarterly
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2002

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pregnancy
photography
abortion
discourse
experience

Keywords

  • Abortion
  • Embodied knowledge
  • Fetal discourse
  • RU486
  • Reproductive technology

Cite this

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Deconstructing pregnancy : RU486, seeing "eggs," and the ambiguity of very early conceptions. / Gerber, Elaine.

In: Medical Anthropology Quarterly, Vol. 16, No. 1, 01.01.2002, p. 92-108.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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