Accepted paper:

The reproductive medical mobility of Montenegrin women to Serbia

Authors:

Diana Dubrovska (Riga Stradins University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper examines the reproductive medical mobility of Montenegrin women to Serbia. Medical institutions in Serbia offer geographical closeness, comfortable familiarity, and, most importantly, privacy to women from Montenegro.

Paper long abstract:

Based on eight months of ethnographic fieldwork (from June 2017 to March 2018) in the central and northern part of Montenegro, I suggest that women from Montenegro employ reproductive medical strategies that involve traveling to neighbouring Serbia in order to perform prenatal testing (CVC, Cell-free foetal DNA testing) and abortion. Even though women in Montenegro have access both to public and private medical institutions to preform prenatal testing and abortion and both countries share similar policies regarding prenatal testing (that is, genetic testing to learn the sex of the foetus is prohibited) and abortion (without restriction), women from Montenegro choose to travel to Serbia. Several factors fuel the cross-border reproductive mobility from Montenegro to Serbia. First, reproductive decisions, like most matters regarding family, are seen as private issues in Montenegro. By traveling to Serbia to perform prenatal testing and/or abortion, women secure privacy and avoid gossip in the society around them and their families in Montenegro. Second, the two countries have historical ties and share a common religious, language and cultural background. Therefore, I suggest, on the one hand, medical institutions in Serbia offer geographical closeness and comfortable familiarity, and on the other hand - the needed privacy and emotional security.

panel P070
Reproductive medical mobilities in contemporary Europe and beyond