Fetal-protection laws, such as the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, are a contemporary means of upholding and spreading the neoliberal administrative state and mass incarceration within the United States. This act creates a political culture in which laws similar to the Unborn Victims of Violence Act can be applied to restrict mothers’ access to proper health services, and to even imprison expecting mothers. I argue these laws do not work to prevent domestic violence, but rather participate in the larger prison industrial complex. A second key finding is that fetal-protection laws stand as obstacles to achieving reproductive justice in policing the bodies of mothers and redefining the relationship between mother and fetus. Political, queer, and critical race theories combine to create a critical framework for analyzing fetal-protection laws present in the United States, alluding to the need for larger political and institutional changes within the United States that render prisons obsolete.
"The Unborn Victims of Violence Act: Expanding a Neoliberal, Carceral State,"
Paideia: Vol. 5
, Article 9.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/paideia/vol5/iss1/9