Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Texas Journal of Women & Law


maternal-fetal conflicts, pregnancy, fetal health, women


FIRST PARAGRAPH: In the short amount of time that we have together today, I would like to accomplish three tasks. First, I would like to offer a brief overview of what and whom we are talking about when we talk about "maternal-fetal conflicts." Second, I would like to discuss some of the assumptions that are held about the women involved in these "conflicts," with the hope that giving voice to these assumptions might help us better understand why we may be willing to accept the coerced medical treatment of pregnant women, or legal sanctions against pregnant women who refuse treatment for the benefit of their fetuses. And, last, if time permits, I would like to offer my thoughts on how we might find a way out of this conundrum. I would like to begin to answer the question of how the law can facilitate justice for women and their fetuses under circumstances that are perceived by everyone involved as difficult.