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An experience to remember

I was lucky to be part of the recent research retreat organized by the Critical Studies in Sexualities and Reproduction (CSSR) research programme, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa. The idea of a research retreat is not entirely new to me. I have heard about it, seen online advertisements about it, heard friends and colleagues talk about them, and even fantasized about attending one. But unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to attend any until now.

A case for sexual and reproductive justice approach

Rhodes University’s Distinguished Professor Catriona Macleod, a recipient of numerous awards, presented her lecture titled “Adolescent sexual and reproductive health: controversies, rights and justice” at the Eden Grove Blue Lecture theatre on 10 October 2018.

FASfacts Community Day

Members of the CSSR presented research findings at an early celebration of International Fetal Alcohol Syndrome awareness day in Mdantsane on the first of September. The event was set up by FASfacts and the Eastern Cape Liquor Board, with support from Distell. The research project aims to describe the prevalence and intensity of alcohol usage during pregnancy in the East London area

A critique on Foetal Alcohol Syndrome awareness

A recently released video by South African Breweries claims to increase awareness of the effects of alcohol on the developing foetus. The video shows expecting mothers place a stethoscope on their abdomen to hear the pre-recorded plea of a child, claiming to be ‘inside your tummy’, to refrain from drinking alcohol during pregnancy. It is called the ‘Sobering Stethoscope’, and effectively represents the shortcomings of South African interventions to alcohol-exposed pregnancies.

Tweets by CSSR

Featured Publication

Expanding reproductive justice through a supportability reparative justice framework: the case of abortion in South Africa

Catriona Ida Macleod

Theoretical refinement of the concept of reproductive justice has been called for. In this paper, I propose the use of a supportability reparative justice approach. Drawing on intra-categorical intersectionality, the supportability aspect starts from the event of a pregnancy to unravel the interwoven embodied and social realities implicated in women experiencing pregnancy as personally supportable/unsupportable, and socially supported/unsupported. The reparative justice aspect highlights the need for social repair in the case of unsupportable pregnancies and relies on Ernesto Verdeja’s critical theory of reparative justice in which he outlines four reparative dimensions. Using abortion within the South African context, I show how this framework may be put to use: (1) the facilitation of autonomous decision-making (individual material dimension) requires understanding women within context, and less emphasis on individual-driven ‘choice’; (2) the provision of legal, safe state-sponsored healthcare resources (collective material dimension) demands political will and abortion service provision to be regarded as a moral as well as a healthcare priority; (3) overcoming stigma and the spoiled identities (collective symbolic dimension) requires significant feminist action to deconstruct negative discourses and to foreground positive narratives; and (4) understanding individual lived experiences (individual symbolic dimension) means deep listening within the social dynamics of particular contexts.

To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1080/13691058.2018.1447687

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