Responsible Choices: Situating Pregnancy Intention among Haitians in South Florida

Abstract

In this article, I focus on unintended pregnancy as a means to interrogate the intersections of abortion and prenatal discourses in the United States, and the ways in which these discourses assume certain kinds of moral, liberal subjects. Using media material, congressional legislation, public health policy, and ethnographic data from South Florida (2004–06), I trace how these discourses assume that women will behave in “rational,” “responsible” ways to plan their reproductive futures, and how these assumptions intersect with Haitian women migrants’ lived experiences in South Florida. My research illustrates how decisions about family planning are situated within particular local moral worlds, where gender relations, religion, power, and desires for children inform women’s everyday lives.