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Reproducing Dignity: Race, Disability, and Reproductive Controls

Mary Crossley

Vol. 54

November 2020

Page 195

Women’s reproductive rights are under widespread assault. Descriptions of this assault often focus on restraints on women’s ability to access contraception or abortion — on their freedom and ability to avoid bearing children. Equally destructive of women’s reproductive freedom, however, are impediments to some women’s ability to bear children. Black women and women with disabilities have experienced numerous constraints on their freedom to form and maintain families, as other scholars have noted. However, the parallels between the childbearing experiences of women in these two groups are rarely explored. This Article fills that void. Women in these two categories are subject to indignity in the form of intrusions on their autonomy, invasions of their bodies, and denials of their individual worth.

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