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Deirdre Duffy: Feminist Outlaws

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Department of Politics: Research Seminar Series - Semester 1

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Deirdre Duffy: Feminist Outlaws: Abortion Trail Activism and the Evolution of Reproductive Justice

Abortion trail activism is a feminist political praxis focused on facilitating access to abortion care. With roots in feminist anarchism and resonant with post-left anarchy, this form of political engagement eschews a ‘master epistemology’ of what constitutes pro-choice activism. Neither is it a form of political lobbying or legal activism. The goal of ATA is to ensure people can get abortions through addressing lived inhibitors to access. For this reason, ATA is frequently framed as a response to restrictive abortion regimes with limited influence on abortion politics as a whole. However, through their activisms, these groups have had significant impact on extending and decolonising the scope and core thematics pro-choice narrative and the orientation towards reproductive justice. This paper provides a broad overview of the historic and contemporary political contribution of ATA. It adopts a transnational perspective, using examples from a range of different jurisdictions across the Global North and South. Through its discussion, the presentation connects with on-going questions of feminist politics, activisms, and decolonisation.Dr Deirdre Niamh Duffy is a Reader in Critical Social Policy in the Faculty of Health, Psychology and Social Care, Manchester Metropolitan University. She specialises in feminism, access to abortion, and critical policy studies. She is currently undertaking a study of abortion trail activism and the evolution of reproductive justice politics as part of a Leverhulme Fellowship.

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