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Re-visioning evidence: reflections on the recent controversy around gender selective abortion in the UK

Unnithan, M. and Dubuc, S. (2018) Re-visioning evidence: reflections on the recent controversy around gender selective abortion in the UK. Global Public Health, 13 (6). pp. 742-753. ISSN 1744-1706

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/17441692.2017.1346694

Abstract/Summary

Reports in the British media over the last 4 years have highlighted the schisms and contestations that have accompanied the reports of gender selective abortions amongst British Asian families. The position that sexselection may be within the terms of the 1967 Abortion Act has particularly sparked controversy amongst abortion campaigners and politicians but equally among medical practitioners and the British Pregnancy Advisory Service who have hitherto tended to stay clear of such debates. In what ways has the controversy around gender-based abortion led to new framings of the entitlement to service provision and new ways of thinking about evidence in the context of reproductive rights? We reflect on these issues drawing on critiques of what constitutes best evidence, contested notions of reproductive rights and reproductive governance, comparative work in India and China as well as our involvement with different groups of campaigners including British South Asian NGOs. The aim of the paper is to situate the medical and legal provision of abortion services in Britain within current discursive practices around gender equality, ethnicity, reproductive autonomy, probable and plausible evidence, and policies of health reform.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
ID Code:76345
Publisher:Taylor & Francis

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