• Taking Reproductive Justice Seriously
    Janus Head 17 (1): 5-8. 2019.
    In 2010, Taffy Brodesser-Akner published an article entitled, “How Childbirth Caused my PTSD,” on Salon.com. Much to my surprise, her claims that she was seriously traumatized by childbirth encountered strong resistance and disbelief. In trying to understand the source of this resistance, I discovered a type of violence, which I refer to as “metaphysical violence,” that is often overlooked, yet prevalent, in what many people in the United States understand as normal childbirth practices and prot…Read more
  • Just Immigration in the Americas: A Feminist Account
    Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. 2020.
    Using testimonies from immigrants and examples of immigrant policies, this book proposes an interdisciplinary, feminist approach to immigration justice.
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    In this article, we discuss decision making during labor and delivery, specifically focusing on decision making around offering women a trial of labor after cesarean section. Many have discussed how humans are notoriously bad at assessing risks and how we often distort the nature of various risks surrounding childbirth. We will build on this discussion by showing that physicians make decisions around TOLAC not only based on distortions of risk, but also based on personal values rather than medic…Read more
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    Childbirth Is Not an Emergency: Informed Consent in Labor and Delivery
    International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics 11 (1): 23-43. 2018.
    Despite the fact that the requirement to obtain informed consent for medical procedures is deeply enshrined in both U.S. moral and legal doctrine, empirical studies and anecdotal accounts show that women's rights to informed consent and refusal of treatment are routinely undermined and ignored during childbirth. For example, citing the most recent Listening to Mothers survey, Marianne Nieuwenhuijze and Lisa Kane Low state that "a significant number of women said they felt pressure from a caregiv…Read more
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    Alison Bailey has recently explored the nature of what she calls privilege‐evasive epistemic pushback or “the variety of willful ignorance that many members of dominant groups engage in when they are asked to consider both the lived experience and structural injustices that members of marginalized groups experience daily.” In this article, I want to use Bailey's argument to demonstrate how privilege‐evasive epistemic pushback is facilitated and obscured by the disciplinary tools of traditional W…Read more
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    Embracing Our Values: Ending the "Birth Wars" and Improving Women's Satisfaction with Childbirth
    International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics 10 (2): 31-41. 2017.
    In A Good Birth, obstetrician and bioethicist Anne Drapkin Lyerly aims to improve women’s experiences of childbirth in the United States by cutting through the vitriolic, shame-inducing, and blame-assigning language of what she terms “the birth wars”—the “polarized debate over where birth should be undertaken and how, who is the presumptive attendant, which professionals need to be supervised, and which way the money should flow”. Too often, women like Lyerly’s friend Erin, whom Lyerly interview…Read more
  • Beyond "Just Health Care"
    Dissertation, Michigan State University. 2004.
    What constitutes a just health care system? Since the publication of his book, Just Health Care, in 1985, many bioethicists have agreed with Norman Daniels' claim that a just health care system is one that meets distributes its scarce resources in a way that protects citizens' fair equality of opportunity. Despite the popularity of Daniels' view, however, I maintain that his framework has serious limitations, many of which originate in Daniels' unjustifiable restriction of the scope of health ca…Read more
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    Florencia Luna begins her essay, “Challenges for Assisted Reproduction and Secondary Infertility in Latin America,” by saying: “I want to explore a new way to think about Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ARTs) in the Latin American context.” I think she clearly achieves that objective. I want to suggest that she does more than this, however. In addition to revealing how traditional depictions of infertility in the United States and Europe are anachronistic for Latin America, her analysis offe…Read more
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    A Hookup of Her Own
    International Journal of Applied Philosophy 30 (2): 191-200. 2016.
    The last fifteen years have seen an increasing social science scholarship into the nature and pervasiveness of hooking up amongst college students,1 but research on the philosophical and ethical issues within hookup culture and practice has not kept pace. To the extent that hooking up has been taken up by philosophers, it has been as part of a larger conversation about the ethics of casual sex, broadly construed; a conversation which is dominated by questions of objectification. As such, investi…Read more
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    Metaphysical Violence and Medicalized Childbirth
    International Journal of Applied Philosophy 27 (1): 101-111. 2013.
    Feminists have highlighted various ways in which medicalized childbirth is connected to violence. For example, the literature is replete with examples of court-ordered Cesarean sections, intimidation in the delivery room, women diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of their childbirth experiences. The most common approach to the accusations about the connections between medicalized childbirth and violence has been to investigate the degree to which the evidence bears out thei…Read more
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    Bioethics and Social Reality
    Teaching Philosophy 29 (1): 53-55. 2006.
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    In this article, I investigate actions that the United States took against Costa Rica during the 1980s in order to argue that current discussions about global justice and its foundations are flawed in three ways. First, it misidentifies the parties of global justice as individual citizens. Second, it conceptualizes global justice as exclusively a distributive justice concern and, as a result, it misidentifies what constitutes a global injustice as being the adverse fate of individuals who live i…Read more