EVENT May 04
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Reproductive Justice: Not just abortion, not just women International Virtual Conference

Organization: SUNY Plattsburgh
Categories: Graduate Conference, German, Popular Culture, Gender & Sexuality, Women's Studies, African-American, 20th & 21st Century, 20th & 21st Century, Aesthetics, Anthropology/Sociology, Cultural Studies, Philosophy, Science, Miscellaneous
Event Date: 2022-05-04 Abstract Due: 2022-01-31

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MAY 4, 2022

Hosted by: The Institute for Ethics in Public Life



You are invited to submit a proposal for a presentation at the above conference. Please supply all information requested below.  Thank you.


SUBMISSIONS CLOSE:  Jan. 31, 2022 at 11:59 PM U.S. EST (acceptance notification will be sent by Feb. 15)



Anthropologists and other social scientists as well as many in the field of healthcare have for decades published articles on the detrimental effects of the medicalization of pregnancy and birth.  There is no dearth of information in the academic databases, yet little progress has been made in stopping the harm being done by unnecessary medical procedures such as non-medically necessary Caesarian sections (World Health Organization, 2021).    The politicizing of abortion and the ensuing abortion debates have for almost a decade distracted from the topic; however, “Birth Time: the Documentary” brought to light the harm being done as a result of unnecessary medical procedures.  There is no doubt that these same procedures have saved the lives of many women and newborns when medical problems have arisen, but when used for convenience, scheduling or profit, they cause harm and we must consider the ethical implications of performing unnecessary medical procedures on women’s bodies.

The video offers first-person stories through interviews of women and their partners who felt traumatized by their birth experiences as well as confirming testimony from experts in the field.  It offers important insights into the problems inherent in our medical systems that lead to women feeling traumatized and often suffering from postpartum depression or PTSD after the birth of a child, the helpless feelings experienced by partners and fathers who feel left out of the birth experience, an understanding of how denial of culture affects minority women and also why those in the medical fields often feel compelled to work in a system they themselves do not support.  What is unique is that in addition to identifying the problem, the documentary offers ideas for solutions.

Through this conference we hope to bring together people who can share knowledge of the issues to create an awareness of the depth of this problem and the harm that is occurring world-wide as well as to explore possible solutions. 


Eagle Rose Productions and Sparrow Studios (Producers) and Hunter, J. Naylor, Z. and Sutton, J. (Directors(. Birth Time: the Documentary (Motion Picture). Australia.  Available Birth Time World  https://birthtime.world      

World Health Organization. (2021). Caesarian section rates continue to rise, amid growing inequalities in access: WHO.  Accessed https://www.who.int/news/item/16-06-2021-caesarean-section-rates-continue-to-rise-amid-growing-inequalities-in-access-who#:~:text=According%20to%20new%20research%20from,21%25)%20of%20all%20childbirths.



1.  Medicalization of pregnancy and birth (general for presentations that are relevant but do not fit other categories.)

·        Subtopic: Post-partum depression and Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) resulting from the medicalization of pregnancy and birth.  This is a factor for both women and men.

·        Subtopic: Harm caused by non-medically necessary interventions.

·        Other directly related to medicalization of pregnancy and birth that do not fit other defined topics.


2.  Economics of the medicalization of pregnancy and birth: 

·         Subtopic: presentations on profits made by such things as C-sections and other interventions (drug companies, medical equipment suppliers, hospitals, doctors, etc.) 

·         Subtopic: Doctors could present on how and why they feel pressured to participate in practices they themselves do not support.


3. Home births and midwives and how medicalization of pregnancy and birth has taken away choice and forced movement away from natural childbirth.  In addition, medicalization has led to laws making it difficult for midwives to function or work and in many countries this leaves women with no trained health worker to assist with pregnancy in birth. For instance, in Liberia, 1 in 12 women die because midwives are not available to assist and no medical assistance is available. 


4.  Race, indigeneity and social inequity aspects brought about by medicalization of pregnancy and birth.


5.  Fathers and partners:  effect of medicalization of pregnancy and childbirth on men and partners who feel left out due to lack of support.


6.   Globalization of medicalization of pregnancy and birth as a result of development: with talks about how development has led to the demise of midwifery in LDCs and created huge expansion of non-medically necessary interventions such as C-sections and led to the lack of healthcare for pregnant women.   Presentations from people in other nations (especially LDCs) who discuss the problems occurring in their countries.


Please provide all information requested below.
Presentations will be done using ZOOM technology.   You have the option to present live or through a recorded session.   Total amount of time allotted per presentation is 45 minutes (includes presentation plus question/answer time).

SUBMIT proposal to Gloria Bobbie:  bobbiegj@plattsburgh.edu 


Your name(s):




Your physical location/mailing address (time zone):


Your email and telephone number:


Introduction (write a brief introduction for you and any other speakers who will present with you. Will be used to introduce your presentation if your submission is accepted).


Presentation format:  presentation with slides, video, etc..  Presentations will be done through ZOOM technology; do you have access to Zoom and are you familiar with it?


 Track for which you are submitting a proposal (see above):


Abstract (write a brief abstract – 250 – 400 words- of your presentation)


Gloria Bobbie