Marie Ashe


Among the earliest judicial "speech-acts" recorded in Western law is the first judgment of Solomon, of which the well-known account is given in The First Book of Kings. I suggest that examination of Solomon's judgment may be instructive in illuminating in a highly general way the processes that operate in contemporary judicial determinations relating to women as mothers and as non-mothers-i.e., determinations covering the full range of issues often designated as relating to "reproduction"-which include the female act of gestation; the process of giving birth; the totality of physical intimacies implicated in the care extended to dependent infants and children; the issue of abortion; and the riddles raised by reproductive technology.

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