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The Greta Bird Lecture: Pregnancy, Poverty and the State

Should the State control a woman’s right to choose? Why do governments fund births but not abortions? Leading reproductive rights expert, Professor Michele Bratcher Goodwin tackles these questions and many more in this arresting lecture, followed by a conversation with ABC Radio National broadcaster, Paul Barclay.

A free event presented by Southern Cross University in partnership with Byron Writers Festival.

When: Tuesday 14 November, 6.00pm - 7.30pm
Where: Byron Theatre, 69 Jonson Street Byron Bay. Google Map
Tickets: Free, bookings essential

About the Lecture

Why do governments fund births but not abortions in countries like the US, when death rates from childbirth are higher than those from abortions? Astonishingly, Texas has the highest rate of maternal mortality in the developed world, as people with little money struggle to access health care.

Poor women are losing control over their bodies and their rights as a result of court decisions and changes in US legislation – with clear lessons for Australia. That’s the view of Professor Michele Bratcher Goodwin, one of the world’s leading experts in reproductive rights.

Shaping policy relating to abortions and reproduction through ideology rather than objective, evidence-based principles of justice, and its consequences, will be the focus of the inaugural Southern Cross University School of Law & Justice Greta Bird Lecture in Legal Theory and Critique, presented by visiting Chancellor’s Professor of Law at UC-Irvine, Professor Bratcher Goodwin.

Researchers have found that 49% of US pregnancies are unintended, but this rate is higher in traditionally conservative States – for example 54% in Texas, and 62% in Mississippi. The consequence of government decisions to fund childbirth but not abortions has meant many women cannot afford abortions – putting more poor women in danger.

Professor Bratcher Goodwin will examine the role of the State in controlling a woman’s right to choose, and to make decisions in relation to pregnancy and privacy, which could improve their chances of survival.

The lecture will be followed by Goodwin in conversation with Walkley Award-winning journalist and ABC Radio National broadcaster, Paul Barclay.

Contact Details:
Byron Writers Festival Office (02) 6685 5115

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