Event Summary: Body Politics

On Thursday, November 12, 2015 WGH hosted the lunchtime event “Body Politics: Current perspectives on reproductive rights and abortion access in U.S. and Latin American contexts.” Two featured speakers presented an overview of their work on these themes. Dr. Jocelyn Viterna, Associate Professor of Sociology at Harvard University, outlined her work on the history and sociology of abortion bans in Latin America, with a focus on El Salvador and the recent rise in the prosecution and incarceration of women for abortions or miscarriages interpreted by authorities as “fetal homicides”. Jill Clark, Acting Director of the Sexual and Reproductive Health Program at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, discussed and contextualized the recent political attacks on Planned Parenthood and Title X funding in the U.S., including a discussion of the significance of Title X funding for racial equity, gender equity, and reproductive justice. The event drew a crowd of nearly 50 and closed with a lively Q&A discussion.