Accepted Paper:

Human reproduction: interrogating Australia's No Jab, No Pay and No Jab, No Play vaccination policies  
Julia LeMonde (University of Queensland)

Paper short abstract:

This paper examines what it means to reproduce, raise and care for an Australian child in the context of current vaccination ideology. 'Anti-vaxer' perspectives reveal how marginalised voices and lives are devalued within population based logics positing vaccination as essential for human health.

Paper long abstract:

In this paper I explore what it means to reproduce and raise a child in Australian society since the introduction of No Jab No Pay and No Jab No Play childhood vaccination legislation. Whilst many parents understand vaccination as a normative model of what it means to raise a child in today's society, current vaccination ideology elides a long history of contestation and controversy around this biomedical intervention. Many Australians argue that current vaccination legislation is coercive and restricts the rights of adults to make free choices about the bodies of children. Whilst more affluent adults still retain bodily sovereignty over their children, these rights are limited for others, and current legislation invites further economic hardship and isolation for these groups.

This paper examines how increasing state control over the reproductive lives of Australians and the removal of rights of health care and early childhood educators to question vaccination, has resulted in a proliferation of largely underground movements which have mobilised in response. Ethnographic exploration of marginalised vaccine questioning narratives reveals the effects of the current vaccination policy on individuals as they interact with and/or resist vaccination only to become devalued in the process.

I then describe the ways vaccine resisters claim and reclaim bodily sovereignty against governmentality tactics. This paper argues that vaccination population logics are not only a particular normative biopolitical model but also a counterproductive one that threatens to create deep societal fissures in as people continue to negotiate and resist state involvement in reproduction.

Panel P31
Coming to life: sovereign births and other reproductive logics