Pregnancy in the Press

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Darwin College

Peter Brown Room

University Of Kent



United Kingdom

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Free half-day interdisciplinary seminar

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Pregnancy in the Press: exploring moral panic and risk communication past and present

Wednesday March 18th (Week 22)

Peter Brown Room, Darwin College, University of Kent

This half-day seminar brings together researchers at different career stages working in various academic disciplines, with those working to innovate reproductive healthcare, to discuss their current research and concerns. It is free to attend open to anyone. It is organised as a collaboration between Kent University’s Centre for Parenting Culture Studies (CPCS) and Centre for the Interdisciplinary Study of Reproduction (CISoR), Kent Law School (KLS) and British Pregnancy Advisory Service (bpas) and builds on the success of previous events held in 2018 and 2019.

These events took the 50th Anniversary of the 1967 Abortion Act, and the social effects of technologies used in pregnancy prevention, as their themes. This time, we are widening the lens to look at ‘making babies’ as well as fertility control. Our theme for the day is public accounts of pregnancy in the media and their contribution to promoting, or alleviating, social concerns about developments in reproductive technologies and the reproductive choices made by individuals. You do not need to pay to attend, but you do need to register via the link below.


12.15-12.45pm lunch, registration and welcome

12.45-2.15pm Reporting contraception (Chair Ann Furedi)

Claire Jones: Contraceptives in the early twentieth century press

Verity Pooke: Emergency Contraceptive Pills as a blessing and a curse

Taylor Burgess: Exploring the ethics of LARC promotion and practice in the UK today

2.30-3.45 Media reception of abortion as a threat to women (Chair Jennie Bristow)

Sally Sheldon: Women-protective arguments and the 1967 Abortion Act

Ellie Lee and Hannah Pereira: The ‘sex selection’ media panic 2012-2014 and its effects

4-5.45pm Communicating risk in reproduction and pregnancy (Chair Kirsty Horsey)

Nicky Hudson: The transformation of human reproduction

Discussant: Darren Griffin

Clare Murphy: Risk communication and pregnancy

Discussant: Robbie Sutton

5.45pm drinks

Participant Details

Jennie Bristow, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Canterbury Christchurch University

Taylor Burgess, Bernstein Postgraduate Fellow, bpas

Ann Furedi, CEO, British Pregnancy Advisory Service

Darren Griffin, Professor of Genetics, Director, Centre for the Interdisciplinary Study of Reproduction, University of Kent

Kirsty Horsey, Reader in Law, University of Kent

Nicky Hudson, Professor of Medical Sociology, Director, Centre for Reproduction Research, De Monfort University

Dr Claire Jones, Lecturer in the History of Medicine, Director, Centre for the History of Medicine, Ethics and Medical Humanities, University of Kent

Ellie Lee, Professor of Family and Parenting Research, Director, Centre for Parenting Culture Studies, University of Kent

Clare Murphy, Director of External Affairs, British Pregnancy Advisory Service

Hannah Pereira. ESRC-funded PhD candidate, School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Research, University of Kent

Verity Pooke. Lecturer in Sociology and Social Policy, School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Research, University of Kent

Sally Sheldon, Professor of Law, University of Kent

Robbie Sutton, Professor of Social Psychology, University of Kent

Useful Reading

Claire Jones, ‘Under the Covers? Commerce, Contraceptives and Consumers in England and Wales, 1880–1960’

Nicky Hudson, ‘Did Margaret Attwood get it right? Reflecting on the social, economic and technological transformation of human reproduction’

Ellie Lee, ‘Constructing abortion as a social problem: sex selection and the British abortion debate’

Sally Sheldon at al., ‘The Abortion Act (1967): a biography’

bpas, Centre for Reproductive Research and Communication

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Darwin College

Peter Brown Room

University Of Kent



United Kingdom

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