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Haunting ImagesA Cultural Account of Selective Reproduction in Vietnam$
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Tine M Gammeltoft

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780520278424

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520278424.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 12 April 2021

Prologue

Prologue

Haunting Decisions (p.1)

Chapter:
(p.xiv) Prologue
Source:
Haunting Images
Author(s):

Tine M. Gammeltoft

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520278424.003.0001

This chapter introduces Tuy?t, one of the thirty women whose case stories form the core of Haunting Images. When the author met her, Tuy?t was twenty-five years old and lived in an extended family in a rural village in Hanoi's Red River delta. The prologue describes the author's visit to this family shortly after Tuy?t had a pregnancy termination for fetal anomaly at twenty-seven weeks’ gestation. During this visit, Tuy?t and her relatives reflected on the prospects that the diagnosis of a fetal anomaly opened, pondering the moral implications of a second trimester abortion and the potential social consequences of having a disabled child. The family's knowledge of childhood disability was, the prologue shows, embodied and experiential: Tuy?t's younger brother Phúc had been severely disabled from birth. They assumed his impairment stemmed from his father's exposure to the herbicide dioxin nicknamed “Agent Orange,” which was sprayed by US airplanes over Vietnam during the Second Indochina War. This family's story introduces readers to the key themes that Haunting Images addresses, showing how questions of decision-making, disability, care, and belonging are embedded in the social life of a Hanoian family.

Keywords:   pregnancy, abortion, disability, Agent Orange, morality, recognition, collectivity, care, belonging, choice

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