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Accepted Paper:

Professional and feminist care for transnational abortions in the Netherlands: an ethnographic study  
Marlyse Debergh

Paper short abstract:

Based on an ethnography conducted in the Netherlands and in Switzerland, this research shows how women traveling to the Netherlands to get an abortion are supported by health professionals and feminists and what these transnational abortions tell us more broadly on (im)mobilities for health care.

Paper long abstract:

Who and how are women traveling to get an abortion in the Netherlands? How are these people supported by health professionals working in Dutch abortion clinics and by pro-choice Dutch feminist collectives? What does these transnational abortions tell us more broadly on (im)mobilities for health care?

Based on an ethnography conducted in the Netherlands and in Switzerland, this talk aims at addressing these questions. By providing concrete empirical data and qualitative analysis from 19 interviews conducted with sexual health professionals (gynecologists, abortion doctors, nurses, and sexual counselors), feminists from three pro-choice collectives, and sexual health experts, as well as from a selection of public health documents, this research shows three main findings. First, what I call “abortion borders” in Europe are complex and not limited to national borders. This ethnography indeed shows for instance internal travels in the Netherlands from rural to urban areas, and also that doctors and activists are traveling themselves abroad. Secondly, abortion professionals and feminists have to adapt and take into account these complex moving borders in order to support women. Third, abortion borders and traveling shed light on intersectional inequalities. These key findings will be discussed by making use of the concept of reproductive justice that helps us to go beyond a human right perspective to a social justice one.

Panel P184
Un/Doing reproduction: transnational reproductive justice in times of (post-)pandemics and anti-gender campaigns
  Session 2