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Social Science Abortion & Birth Control

Abortion across Borders

Transnational Travel and Access to Abortion Services

edited by Christabelle Sethna & Gayle Davis

Johns Hopkins University Press
Initial publish date
Mar 2019
Abortion & Birth Control, History, Women's Health, Health Policy
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2019
    List Price

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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 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.

Christabelle Sethna's profile page

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.

Gayle Davis' profile page

Editorial Reviews

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

Literary Review of Canada

"[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."

British Society of Abortion Care Providers

Other titles by Christabelle Sethna