Not my scan
Medical professionals in Europe and the US are promoting changes in women's health care model to include preconception health. My thesis explores the phenomenon of preconception health by tracing its historical and practical roots from about 1850 to the present day.
This thesis is the first in-depth genealogy of preconception health. The thesis connects aspects of preconception health with ideals of humanism, scientific racism and sexism and eugenics. I investigate the ways in which (new) preconception health discourses are entangling and rearticulating (old) views of obstetricians, eugenicists, antiabortionists, and feminists. This thesis observes that there are rhetorical links, and yet, historical differences between eugenics and preconception health: what, then, constitutes the difference?
My concern will be to illuminate links that unite elements of obstetric ultrasound with practices of preconception health. Drawing on feminist research, I analyze the ways in which the logic of preconception health depends on fetal personhood as common sense. I am arguing that preconception health as a neoliberal governmentality relies on the collective cultural memory of ultrasound images of fetuses, yet, paradoxically, results in its erasure and initiates a new iconography without fetuses.