Policing Pregnancy: 

Ellie Lee, Robbie Sutton, Rachel Calogero and Jan MacVarish will take prominent roles in a one-day conference on maternal autonomy, risk and responsibility organised by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, Birthrights and the Centre for Parenting Culture Studies. It will explore the tensions that exist between efforts to promote awareness of risk to pregnant women and the often unconsidered problems of this approach, including the formalised and informal policing of pregnancy that results. The topic of alcohol use in pregnancy forms the starting point and the conference will welcome Lynn Paltrow of the US National Advocates for Pregnant Women to open the event with perspectives from the US, which will then be explored in a European context. Afternoon sessions will consider topics where trends seem apparent and consider how developments contest the principle of autonomy. A roundtable session will discuss how food intake has become a locus for policy-making through elevated concerns about overweight and obesity, and the conference will end with a discussion about the ways in which women’s birth choices and experiences are constrained. It should be of interest to practitioners, advocates, academics, policy-makers, journalists and anyone else who is concerned about the expansion of risk thinking and its implications for the autonomy of women.