Saturday 2 May 2015

Just Published in Israel Studies: Wars of the Wombs: Struggles Over Abortion Policies in Israel

I have just published an article in the peer-reviewed academic journal Israel Studies in which I examine the historical and contemporary struggles that have led to the gap between the restrictions on, and availability of, abortion in Israel. 

My article, entitled "Wars of the Wombs: Struggles Over Abortion Policies in Israel," attributes this gap to the compromise necessitated by conflicts amongst competing policymakers, motivated by opposing viewpoints and interests, over the objectives and substance of abortion policies. 

Opposition to abortion stems primarily from demographic anxiety relating to both the Holocaust and the Muslim Arab-Jewish fertility differential in Israel/Palestine. Support for access to abortion emanates from countervailing concerns about the implications of unrestrained fertility for women’s health, family welfare, and social stability, as well as  “qualitative” interests in reproducing healthy children. Some feminists have also resisted attempts to render women’s wombs national vessels. 

This article explores the evolution of these struggles over four distinct historical periods, and assesses their impact on women’s reproductive experiences and rights.

To read the article in full, please go to Israel Studies Volume 20 Number 2 (Summer 2015), pp. 1-26.  

You can also download and read a full PDF of the article via my personal page here.

Friday 1 May 2015

The Skinny Magazine: Kate Pasola, "Marriage Rights: Trying to be Civil"

My partner Charles Keidan and I were recently interviewed for this personal, funny and supportive article on civil partnerships for The Skinny magazine.

In it, the writer, Kate Pasola, explains, "That was when I realised – no matter how fruitfully you transform the patriarchal institution of marriage into a feminestival of equality, there’s always explaining to be done. Explaining to the father-in-law why I didn’t change my surname to his. Explaining to my dad why I won’t let him 'give me away.' Explaining to the Elvis impersonator my rewriting of the line “you may now kiss your bride.” I want something else. I want a civil partnership.

Legalised in 2004 as a form of partnership open to same-sex couples, civil partnerships are a blank canvas stripped of expectation and patriarchal norms. Couples are considered partners, not husband and wife. Both parents of the parties are acknowledged on the certificate, rather than writing women out of history since the beginning of time. There’s no obligation to utter any sort of sacred words unless you choose to, it’s just a matter of signing on the dotted line. And about surnames? In marriage, if a husband wants to take his wife’s name, it’s more of a costly and lengthy process. With civil partnerships, you can just pick the best name (or play rock paper scissors), and be done with it – at no extra cost."

To read the full article, click here.