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Journal ArticleDOI

Abortion Travel and the Limits of Choice

01 Jan 2016-FIU Law Review (Florida International University College of Law)-Vol. 12, Iss: 1, pp 27
About: This article is published in FIU Law Review.The article was published on 2016-01-01 and is currently open access. It has received 3 citations till now. The article focuses on the topics: Abortion.

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TL;DR: In this paper, the authors take up this oversight in relation to the 2016 U.S. Supreme Court decision on Citizens United and present an analysis of the implications of the decision.
Abstract: Distance—physical, material distance—is an obviously spatial concept, but one rarely engaged by legal or feminist geographers. We take up this oversight in relation to the 2016 U.S. Supreme Court d...

25 citations


Cites background from "Abortion Travel and the Limits of C..."

  • ...In the intervening years, pro-choice advocates have invested considerable energy and resources in actually getting women to abortion providers by funding for their travel (Kelley, 2016; National Network of Abortion Funds, 2017), but pro-choice litigators have dedicated little attention to explaining or illustrating for courts the burden of distance....

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  • ...…pro-choice advocates have invested considerable energy and resources in actually getting women to abortion providers by funding for their travel (Kelley, 2016; National Network of Abortion Funds, 2017), but pro-choice litigators have dedicated little attention to explaining or illustrating for…...

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors examines the outcomes of two coexisting and interrelated systems in the Rio Grande Valley and illuminates the racial control dynamics of State anti-abortion policies as well as the doctrinal shortcomings of abortion jurisprudence in providing remedies for marginalized women.
Abstract: INTRODUCTION A series of events in 2014 brought significant attention to the United States-Mexico border. Over the summer, reports of an influx of undocumented Central American immigrants began circulating. (1) Though most coverage mentioned only children crossing the border, many of these young migrants traveled alongside their mothers. (2) Reports of this influx raised public awareness about the increased level of immigration enforcement at the border and the rise of federal family detention centers in the American southwest. That same year, a series of lawsuits against the State of Texas's House Bill 2, which implemented significant restrictions on reproductive health clinics and abortion services in the state, shone a light on the health crisis facing women in the Rio Grande Valley. (3) Though seemingly unrelated--and often treated as such by both government and media--these circumstances have had inter-related results, particularly for Latina women in south Texas communities. Scholars have long understood immigration enforcement as a mechanism of racial control (4) and reproductive oppression as a tool of gender subordination. (5) Yet Latino/a rights and mainstream reproductive rights organizations have historically failed to address the way these mechanisms operate together to police immigrant Latina women. (6) Through an intersectional framework, this Note examines the outcomes of two coexistent and interrelated systems in the Rio Grande Valley and illuminates the racial control dynamics of State anti-abortion policies as well as the doctrinal shortcomings of abortion jurisprudence in providing remedies for marginalized women. Although a vast body of work has addressed the intersectional dynamics of reproductive oppression and racial control, (7) most of this work looks at oppressive forces of state policies related to reproduction outside of the abortion context or at the negative outcomes of advocates' narrow focus on abortion rights. There is a historical reason for this: activists and academics concerned about the marginalization of women of color sought to address the various reproductive oppressions experienced by Black, Latina, Asian, and Native American women that have been largely neglected by the mainstream (mostly white) feminist/pro-choice movement. (8) Women at society's margins have faced forced sterilizations, (9) lack of access to culturally sensitive birthing care, (10) family caps on welfare benefits, (11) and the criminalization of miscarriages, (12) among other infringements of bodily and reproductive autonomy. (13) The American healthcare, welfare, and prison systems still frequently and pervasively deploy similar tactics. (14) By focusing on anti-abortion legislation in this Note, I do not mean to suggest that the reproductive freedom (15) movement should prioritize abortion access--or "choice"--over these other violations of reproductive autonomy. Nor do I mean to suggest that abortion should continue to be held at the forefront of conversations surrounding reproductive freedom, rights, and justice. (16) Rather, I focus on anti-abortion measures here because advocates on both sides are currently waging battles over autonomous reproductive control couched in the language of abortion. (17) Furthermore, much of the academic work discussing abortion and abortion jurisprudence has failed to address the racial control dynamics of anti-abortion policies, the ways in which anti-abortion policies work alongside other subordinating structures and government forces to police race, and the negative impact these disciplining mechanisms have on women who are either not pregnant or who are and wish to carry to term. (18) A long history of progressive advocates marginalizing both Latina women and their reproductive health needs have contributed to what Professor Kimberle Crenshaw calls "conditions of possibility." Disregard for the needs of women of color within these social movements, coupled with pervasive social stigma associated with reproductive healthcare, has rendered women of color especially susceptible to this particular form of contemporary, state-imposed gender and racial oppression. …

9 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The Confederation Bridge as discussed by the authors is one of the longest bridges in the world, and it has been used by millions of women to travel over ice-covered waters to access abortion services.
Abstract: In 1988, the Supreme Court of Canada decriminalized abortion in R. v. Morgentaler. (1) Almost immediately thereafter, the Maritime province of Prince Edward Island ("P.E.I.") passed a legislative resolution opposing the provision of abortion services on the Island except to save the life of a pregnant woman. (2) P.E.I. is a small pastoral province of rolling hills and ocean coves in the St. Lawrence Gulf, and since 1988, through various regulatory actions, its government has honored this policy promise to keep the Island abortion-free and to preserve its moral landscape. (3) The same year that abortion was banished from P.E.I., Prince Edward Islanders also voted "yes" to the building of the Confederation Bridge, which would join the Island to mainland Canada and make travel between them "easy and convenient." (4) Opened on May 31, 1997, the Confederation Bridge is an amazing sight. Curved and eight miles long, the bridge is one of the greatest engineering feats of the twentieth century, the longest crossing over ice-covered water in the world. In its steel and concrete structure, durable and reinforcing, the bridge reflects the ingenuity of its engineers, who built a shield on the pier shafts to lift and break the ice flow under its own weight, and who built the bridge high enough to allow cruise ships to pass. (5) The story of the bridge, however, is not a single story. (6) More than steel and concrete, the bridge represents a historical problem and a vision of a solution to that problem, that is, the need for an easy and reliable crossing over a treacherous body of water. The bridge also captures more than a century of public controversy. The plebiscite vote to build the bridge followed a heated debate in which farmers, fishers, and other Islanders divided on how access to the mainland would affect their way of life. (7) The bridge challenged Islanders' sense of themselves, their past and future collective identity. (8) Likely unforeseen in 1988, the Confederation Bridge would also achieve a material and moral significance in the reproductive lives of Islanders, and the reproductive law of the province. Every year, Islanders cross the Confederation Bridge to access abortion services, with limited public funding, in neighboring provinces on the Canadian mainland. (9) The Confederation Bridge thus tells a story of abortion travel in Canada--women's long crossings over menacing, ice-covered waters, their feats of ingenuity, and their durable and reinforcing supports in this crossing. It is the story of a bridge built to break some women under their own weight, while allowing others to cruise past. It is the story of a problem and a solution to that problem. It is the story of a public controversy over how abortion challenges Islanders' sense of themselves, their past and their future--the Islander way of life. The Confederation Bridge offers a unique analytical vantage on the issue of abortion travel. Against a ground-level account of the individual traveler and her hardship, an aerial view of the bridge reveals the social and political landscape of abortion travel. It spatially represents a government policy of abortion travel as an act of banishment by and from the state. (10) A government policy that requires residents to leave the Island to access abortion services inflicts distinct harms of exclusion, disregard, and neglect, and calls forth a distinct rationale in justification for these harms, namely protection rather than only punishment. These harms and justification of abortion travel are best captured by the sociological concept of stigma, defined as a social process of devaluing or denigrating a group of people by denoting contempt or lack of respect for them, including by arousing feelings of anguish and inferiority in them. (11) Stigma begins with the labeling of some trait as socially relevant. (12) Abortion, the decision and act to terminate a pregnancy, has long been linked to undesirable moral qualities in the individual--sins of lust and gluttony, the sins of desire. …

5 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors argue that supplementary narratives of the lived experiences of black women seeking reproductive rights, employed in the spirit of Rabinow's "pedagogy of creativity, curiosity, and deviance", make possible the transformation of available discourses on reproductive rights.
Abstract: Drawing on Rabinow’s Making PCR: A Story of Biotechnology, and on my earlier work on slavery, reproduction, and constitutional interpretation, this essay argues that supplementary narratives of the lived experiences of black women seeking reproductive rights, employed in the spirit of Rabinow’s “pedagogy of creativity, curiosity, and deviance,” make possible the transformation of available discourses on reproductive rights.

5 citations