Toward a Political Geography of Abortion

Birmingham Law School, Senior Common Room at Birmingham Law School
Tuesday 6 March 2018 (13:00-14:00)

If you are interested in participating in this workshop please email Lauren Rawlins.

political geography of abortion

WORKSHOP LEADER - Dr Sydney Calkin, Durham, IAS Vanguard Fellow

Abortion access is in the midst of a significant spatial transformation. Advances in technology, medicine, and activist tactics are currently changing the geographies of abortion and working to weaken the link between access to abortion and national legal frameworks. In response to these challenges to state control over reproduction, states are responding with new tactics to re-assert authority over pregnancy and abortion. However, these changes remain under-researched in the literature, which tends to sustain the long-standing focus on state-law and inter-state travel. The forces currently transforming abortion access exceed these analytical frameworks: we require a multi-scalar and scale-jumping account of the relationship between pro-choice activists and anti-choice states. This seminar discusses the case for a political geography of abortion that moves beyond a state-based framework to account for changing patterns of resistance and restriction on abortion.  In turn, it demonstrates that reproductive politics is a key site for political geography debates on power, states, and territory. The arguments are developed through two cases: mobile abortion clinics at sea and telemedicine abortion technology, both of which demonstrate the contestation over abortion rights at the sub- and supra-state levels.

Dr Sydney Calkin is being hosted by Professor Fiona de Londras, Professor of Global Legal Studies and Deputy Head of Birmingham Law School.

All welcome.