Focusing on disgust opens up critical paths that involve more expansive scopes of space and time than are possible with strictly historicist approaches to Puritan studies. This essay investigates the remarkably similar tactics for inducing disgust in narratives from the 1640s of the antinomians’ monstrous births and in the US Senate floor debate of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act just before the Iraq War in 2003. In both instances, rhetoric comparing familiar bodies to unfamiliar corporeal forms conjures powerful feelings of disgust that legitimize intervention. These powerful affective tactics help identify “rogues” to be eradicated—either colonial rogues, a “rogue procedure,” or a “rogue state”—hardening the border-focused feelings of disgust into hegemonic control. The essay concludes by taking a cue from the Puritans about embracing the inevitability of encountering disgusting feelings alongside wondrous ones, as well as inspiration from testimonies of abortion providers in the years immediately following Roe v. Wade, and arguing that critical attention to disgust enables the possibility of imagining a multiplicity of responses to different forms of embodiment.

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