Somos Muchos (We Are So Many): Population Politics and “Reproductive Othering” in Mexican Fertility Clinics

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Braff (2013) 19.432608, -99.133208 Braff, Lara (2013). Somos Muchos (We Are So Many): Population Politics and “Reproductive Othering” in Mexican Fertility Clinics. Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 27(1):121-138. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/maq.12019

Abstract

Although Mexican state officials have long attributed Mexico’s “overpopulation problem” to its “high” fertility rate, that rate is almost at replacement level today. Nevertheless, anxieties about overpopulation rooted in reproduction persist. Based on my ethnographic fieldwork in Mexico City fertility clinics, this article examines how overpopulation anxieties affect infertile women as they use assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) to try to conceive children. I examine how these women attempt to justify their seemingly out-of-place use of ARTs in this “overpopulated” context by evoking discourses of “reproductive othering.” Through these discourses they lay claim to a whiter, worthier status than racialized Others on the basis of their purported reproductive practices. I contend that their discourses reveal that infertility and its care are potent sites for the local production and reproduction of personhood, parenthood, and citizenship.