This article discusses the Conservative Laestadian women’s desire to mother and the procreational ethos of the Conservative Laestadian religious movement in the framework of reproductive justice and ecological crisis. The data draws from my doctoral study in which I examined the aspirations of women who belonged in the Conservative Laestadian religious revival movement in Finland. In my attempt to understand the Laestadian women’s desire to mother within the procreational ethos of this conservative religion, and to form an alternative approach to the issue in feminist ethico-ecological framework, I employ Donna J. Haraway’s concept of response-ability together with Bracha L. Ettinger’s theory of matrixial feminine transconnectivity. With this article, I propose that in their multivocality, diversity, and intertwined nature, the Laestadian women’s accounts of motherhood assist in understanding the many aspirations, intentions, agencies, and affects that operate within the desire to mother in this conservative religious movement. The Laestadian women’s diverging accounts enable us to consider motherhood as a manifold issue for a pious woman: a natural duty and an obligation, but also a position through which to claim the status of a subject. This invites us to think of the Laestadian women’s desire to mother more broadly as an entangled ethics of relationality, care, and kin-making beyond human reproduction. To promote a response-able approach to the issue of the desire to mother on the edge of the ecological disaster, we must address the unquestioned transgenerational and procreational models of motherhood and how these complicate the discussion on the reproductive rights of religious female subjects in the Western world. However, as the desire to mother extends toward shared response-ability and more inclusive futures, it requires questioning the human desire to reproduce.
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