The Pregnancy Police: Conceiving Crime, Arresting Personhood

Regular price $ 29.95

by Grace E. Howard

University of California Press

6/4/2024, paperback

SKU: 9780520391079


Decades before the overturning of Roe v. Wade, pregnant people faced arrest and prosecution for supposed crimes against the fertilized eggs, embryos, and fetuses they gestated. T he Pregnancy Police investigates the legal arguments undergirding these prosecutions and sheds much-needed light on the networks of health-care providers, social workers, and legal personnel participating in this ongoing surveillance and punishment of pregnant people.

Drawing on detailed analyses of legislation, statements from prosecutors and law enforcement, and records from over a thousand arrest cases, Grace E. Howard traces the long history of state attempts to regulate and control people who have the capacity for pregnancy--from the early twentieth century's white supremacist eugenics to the end of Roe and the ever-increasing criminalization of abortion across the United States.


"The Pregnancy Police is a tour de force, offering an insightful analysis of the rampant criminalization of pregnancy and pregnant people. Grace Howard skillfully reveals the many ways the pregnancy police are all around us--watching, reporting, and bringing harm to people seen as less than fully human because they have uteruses. The book is a brilliant addition to the reproductive justice literature." -- Monica J. Casper, author of Babylost: Racism, Survival, and the Quiet Politics of Infant Mortality, from A to Z

"More and more people are paying attention to the criminalization of pregnancy in the aftermath of the reversal of Roe v. Wade. The Pregnancy Police will be a book that people must cite when discussing the phenomenon." -- Khiara M. Bridges, Professor of Law, University of California, Berkeley

About the Author:

Grace Howard is Associate Professor of Justice Studies at San José State University.