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Representing Abortion as an Ordinary Experience to Achieve Reproductive Justice

The way we talk about abortion needs to change. Abortion is a safe medical procedure that has a significant impact on one’s life, is emotionally and materially experienced in different ways, and must be recognised as fundamental to bodily sovereignty. These realities are not captured by the binary polarisation of abortion as a “debate” between pro-choice and pro-life positions. Even in contexts where abortion is decriminalised or legal, abortion stigma, misinformation, and unequal access continue to pose significant barriers to achieving reproductive justice as a human right. My argument is that focusing on ordinary experiences of abortion promises insight into best practices for abortion care, as well as non-legal barriers to access, which can inform activist struggle for reproductive justice as well as more robust policies and legal approaches to abortion care. I explore the question, “What is it like to have an abortion?” through arts-based research workshops with people who have had an abortion. The outcomes of this project contribute to the upsurge of writing and art about abortion that normalises the procedure, while also drawing attention to unequal access to safe and legal abortion, shaped not just by geography, but also racism, transphobia, homophobia, ableism, and classism.


Fellows involved in this project


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Is any information on this page incorrect or outdated? Please notify Ms. Nel-Mari Loock at [email protected].