The article explores what counts today as an “emergency” in maternal healthcare in rural Guatemala. It argues that the creation and circulation of Planes de Emergencia (Emergency Plans) for birthing shape the possibilities for biomedical maternity care in this context. Drawing on fieldwork carried out in Santiago Atitlán, Guatemala, and on recent feminist scholarship on “emergency thinking,” the article suggests that Emergency Plans, and the forms of care of which they are a part, generate their own forms of knowledge and ignorance. In so doing, these planning systems reconfigure both the sociality and temporality of biomedical maternity care in Guatemala today. This “technology of emergency” shifts moral responsibilities among care providers and mothers, engenders new intimate relationships while obviating other forms of collective security, and positions biomedical birth as the only possible outcome of moral action. Considering how this technology of emergency works as a mode of “reproductive governance” points to the ways in which reproduction is understood and managed in contexts beyond Guatemala.


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pp. 100-121
Launched on MUSE
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