Class Year

2021

Access Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department or Program

Science, Technology, and Society Program

First Advisor

José G. Perillán

Second Advisor

Elizabeth H. Bradley

Abstract

In my thesis, I will argue that Black incarcerated women face increased reproductive disparities as a result of their multiple marginalized identities. Even though Black women have the fastest growth rate of incarceration there is minimal evidence on how imprisonment affects their already inadequate reproductive health care. I begin by providing a history of mass incarceration in the United States and explain how it disproportionately affects the Black community. I then document Black women’s history of gynecological and reproductive abuse, starting with slavery and closing with present-day inequalities such as forced sterilization and disproportionate rates of infant and maternal mortality. After explaining Black women’s reproductive history, I depict stories of the detestable health care afforded to women in prison. Finally, I close with a call to action. I analyze examples of prison reproductive interventions in the hope that the interventions mentioned will be used as a jumping-off point for more large-scale change. It is crucial that the unique reproductive inequity Black incarcerated women face is met with extensive empirical research and documentation in order to effectively bring an end to these injustices.

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