Series Number: 23
What does promoting the sterilization of poor women addicted to drugs have in common with the reaction of environmental activists to whaling by the Makau Indians? To many people these actions seem uncontroversial: after all, most people support efforts to prevent fetal exposure to drugs and agree that endangered species should be protected. But both are premised on an adversarial mode of thought which is deeply embedded in U.S. culture and difficult to move beyond. Feminists have written critically about the idea of maternal/fetal conflict, cautioning that this dichotomy gives credence to restrictive policies which limit a pregnant woman’s autonomy.