In the United States, systems and methods of reproductive control and family regulation/policing developed alongside and as part of the prison industrial complex.
Public health institutions have contributed to this system by uncritically participating in mandatory reporting or forced drug testing of pregnant people, as well as offering public health models for prevention and intervention that focus on blaming the individual, and fail to prioritize addressing structural problems, such as poverty. Family regulation and reproductive control take many forms, including but not limited to:
Resources in this section chronicle from pregnancy to young adulthood, how mechanisms of how family policing systems (often considered child welfare) and criminalization of reproduction autonomy and abortion extend the criminal legal system. When the focus is on surveillance and control, there is a disproportionate impact on Black and Indigenous families, and families caught in this system often end up being criminalized.
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Last updated May 2021