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9781421427294
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Abortion across Borders

Transnational Travel and Access to Abortion Services

Safe, legal, and affordable abortion is widely recognized as an essential medical service for women across the world. When access to that service is denied or restricted, women are compelled to carry unwanted pregnancies to term, seek backstreet abortionists, attempt self-induced abortions, or even travel to less restrictive states, provinces, and countries to receive care.

Abortion across Borders focuses on travel across domestic and international boundaries to terminate a pregnancy. Christabelle Sethna and Gayle Davis have gathered a cadre of authors to examine how restrictive policies force women to move both within and across national borders in order to reach abortion providers, often at great expense, over long distances and with significant safety risks. Taking historical and contemporary perspectives, contributors examine the situation in regions that include Texas, Prince Edward Island, Ireland, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Eastern Europe. Throughout, they take a feminist intersectional approach to transnational travel and access to abortion services that is sensitive to inequalities of gender, race, and class in reproductive health care.

This multidisciplinary volume raises challenging logistical, legal, and ethical questions while exploring the gendered aspects of medical tourism. A noticeable rollback of reproductive rights and renewed attention to border security in many parts of the world will make Abortion across Borders of timely interest to scholars of gender and women's studies, health, medicine, law, mobility studies, and reproductive justice.

Contributors: Barbara Baird, Niklas Barke, Anna Bogic, Hayley Brown, Lori A. Brown, Cathrine Chambers, Ewelina Ciaputa, Gayle Davis, Mary Gilmartin, Agata Ignaciuk, Sinéad Kennedy, Lena Lennerhed, Jo-Ann MacDonald, Colleen MacQuarrie, Jane O'Neill, Clare Parker, Christabelle Sethna, Sally Sheldon

About the Authors

Christabelle Sethna is a professor in the University of Ottawa's Institute of Feminist and Gender Studies. She is the coauthor of Just Watch Us: RCMP Surveillance of the Women's Liberation Movement in Cold War Canada and a coeditor of Animal Metropolis: Histories of Human-Animal Relations in Urban Canada. Gayle Davis is a senior lecturer in the history of medicine at the University of Edinburgh. She is a coauthor of The Sexual State: Sexuality and Scottish Governance, 1950–80 and a coeditor of The Palgrave Handbook of Infertility in History: Approaches, Contexts and Perspectives.

Endorsements

"This timely collection reminds us that access to abortion services remains deeply connected to international politics of health, mobility, and citizenship. It raises important questions about claims that women's choices need to be monitored to ensure global security. A must-read for anyone interested in medical tourism or women's inequality."

- Erika Dyck, University of Saskatchewan, author of Facing Eugenics: Reproduction, Sterilization, and the Politics of Choice

"A significant contribution to the comparative literature on abortion, Abortion across Borders provides a clear-eyed and sobering exposition of the relationship between the many laws, policies, and norms that govern access to abortion and the consequently burdensome travel that women must undertake with troubling regularity."

- Rachael Johnstone, Queen's University, author of After Morgentaler: The Politics of Abortion in Canada

"Sethna and Davis's new book shines a light on the outcomes of opponents' strategies of making it difficult or impossible for women to avail themselves of their rights in Britain, Ireland (after 2018), Australia, and the United States. Abortion across Borders adds a necessary and cutting-edge piece of scholarship to the library of global reproductive rights work."

- Melissa Haussman, Carleton University, author of Reproductive Rights and the State: Getting the Birth Control, RU-486, and Morning-After Pills and the Gardasil Vaccine to the U.S. Market

"Abortion across Borders is a groundbreaking and timely collection that sheds new light on travel for abortion services in a range of geographical contexts including North America, Western and Eastern Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. The collection will appeal to scholars interested in the history of reproductive health and activism and is certain to remain the definitive collection on this topic for a long time to come."

- Laura Kelly, University of Strathclyde, author of Irish Medical Education and Student Culture, c. 1850–1950
Johns Hopkins University Press
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Hardback
March 26, 2019
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