- Searching for the State: Who Governs Prisoners' Reproductive Rights?
- Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State and Society
- Oxford University Press
- Volume 11, Number 3, Fall 2004
- pp. 411-438
- View Citation
- Additional Information
This article investigates the nature of "the state" that governs the reproductive rights of women imprisoned in the United States. Rather than being transparent, the state in the prison context is instead opaque, multifaceted, increasingly privatized, and characterized by high levels of decentralization, delegation, and discretion that render ambiguous the locus of official state authority. This particular configuration of state power creates distinctive challenges and vulnerabilities for women seeking to safeguard their reproductive health and rights and raises serious questions about accountability for how governments regulate women's lives.