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Abortion across Borders

Transnational Travel and Access to Abortion Services

edited by Christabelle Sethna and Gayle Davis

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A timely examination of how restrictive policies force women to travel both within and across national borders to access 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…

A timely examination of how restrictive policies force women to travel both within and across national borders to access 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

Reviews

Reviews

[Abortion across Borders] is a great example of interdisciplinary scholarship: the authors comprise several historians, a geographer, a sociologist, a psychologist, a lawyer and an architect. There is also a fair amount of politics in the book. This makes for varied approaches to each chapter, most of which focus on one country.

[Abortion across Borders] is a rich volume that offers new and exciting analyses.

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.

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.

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.

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Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
360
ISBN
9781421427294
Illustration Description
1 halftone, 10 line drawings
Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction
Christabelle Sethna

Part I. Flight Risks
1. Sherri Finkbine Flew to Sweden: Abortion and Disability in the Early 1960s
Lena Lennerhed
2. From Heathrow Airport to Harley Street

Acknowledgments

Introduction
Christabelle Sethna

Part I. Flight Risks
1. Sherri Finkbine Flew to Sweden: Abortion and Disability in the Early 1960s
Lena Lennerhed
2. From Heathrow Airport to Harley Street: The ALRA and the Travel of Nonresident Women for Abortion Services in Britain
Christabelle Sethna
3. The Trans-Tasman Abortion Travel Service: Abortion Services for New Zealand Women in the 1970s
Hayley Brown

Part II. Domestic Transgressions
4. All Aboard the "Abortion Express": Geographic Variability, Domestic Travel, and the 1967 British Abortion Act
Gayle Davis, Jane O'Neill, Clare Parker, and Sally Sheldon
5. A Double Movement: The Politics of Reproductive Mobility in Ireland
Mary Gilmartin and Sinéad Kennedy
6. Tales of Mobility: Women's Travel and Abortion Services in a Globalized Australia
Barbara Baird
7. Don't Mess with Texas: Abortion Policy, Texas Style
Lori A. Brown
8. Trials and Trails: The Emergence of Canada's Abortion Refugees in Prince Edward Island
Cathrine Chambers, Colleen MacQuarrie, and Jo-Ann MacDonald

Part III. Democratic Transitions
9. Abortion Travel and the Cost of Reproductive Choice in Spain
Agata Ignaciuk
10. "The Import Problem": The Travels of Our Bodies, Ourselves to Eastern Europe
Anna Bogic
11. Abortion and the Catholic Church in Poland
Ewelina Ciaputa
12. Beyond the Borders of Brexit: Traveling for Abortion Access to a Post-EU Britain
Niklas Barke

Contributors
Index

Author Bios
Featured Contributor

Christabelle Sethna

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.
Featured Contributor

Gayle Davis

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.
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