Linda Layne discusses pregnancy,
feminism and health
in four recognized pregnancies ends in pregnancy loss, with the
vast majority occurring during the first trimester. Middle-class
American women who experienced a miscarriage, stillbirth or early
infant death during the last 30 years found themselves caught
between two sets of strong and contradictory cultural forces,
argues Linda Layne, author of “Motherhood Lost: A Feminist
Account of Pregnancy Loss in America.” She will visit U.Va.
Feb. 18 and give two talks on the subject at the Health System.
Layne, a cultural anthropologist and professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic
Institute in Troy, N.Y., began focusing on pregnancy loss in America
after she had the first of seven miscarriages. Now the mother
of two sons, she will talk about conflicting views on fetal personhood,
the use of technology in conventional obstetrics and the natural
childbirth movement, and her feminist ideas for improving the
care of pregnant women.
Her lectures are sponsored by the Humanities in Medicine Program,
the History of the Health Sciences Lecture Series and the Engineering
School’s Technology, Culture and Communication division.