Call for Papers: Abortion: The Unfinished Revolution

The organizers are calling for proposals for presentations for an upcoming conference:

Abortion: The Unfinished Revolution
Conference August 7-8, 2014
University of Prince Edward Island
Charlottetown, PEI, Canada

In recent years, there have been numerous attempts worldwide to limit women’s access to safe abortion. In 2012, an anti-abortion bill in the Canadian parliament that purportedly aimed to open a discussion on “when life begins” was interpreted as an attack on abortion rights and was defeated by Members of Parliament in a vote of 203 to 91. In Ireland that same year, Savita Halappanavar was denied an abortion, even though she was miscarrying the fetus. Her subsequent death sparked international outrage and renewed calls to relax abortion restrictions in that country. In Texas in 2013, despite an inspiring eleven-hour filibuster by Senator Wendy Davis, Democrats ultimately failed to block stringent new restrictions on abortion availability in that state. Meanwhile, the Mexico City Policy continues to affect the abortion experiences of women throughout the world. Thus, in spite of the many gains that have been made in women’s rights since the mid-twentieth century, reproductive autonomy continues to elude women in many countries around the world. Even in Canada, where there is no federal abortion law and abortion is regulated like any other medical procedure, there is tremendous disparity in access to abortion services across the country. For example, Prince Edward Island is touted by the Canadian anti-abortion movement as being a “life sanctuary” since it eliminated access to safe surgical abortions in 1986, a point that was a focus of that movement’s national conference in 2013. Attendees are invited to PEI to reflect on the status of abortion internationally.

This interdisciplinary conference invites proposals on all aspects of abortion. Topics may include, but are not limited to:

-Abortion rights activism and reproductive justice
-Barriers to abortion access
-Lived experiences of abortion
-Shifting (historical/political) meanings of abortion
-The place of women in abortion politics/history
-Historical constructions of the fetus
-The role of the state in abortion politics
– The role of the medical profession in abortion politics
-The influence of medical advancements on abortion politics/history
-Abortion and sexuality
-Abortion in the classroom: pedagogy and politics

Those interested in presenting should submit a 250-word abstract, along with a one-page CV, to the conference organizers at: abortionpei@gmail.com. Panel presentations will also be accepted. Proposals are due by January 31, 2014. Attendees invited to present will be notified no later than February 15, 2014.

Conference organizers:

Dr. Colleen MacQuarrie
University of Prince Edward Island

Dr. Tracy Penny Light
University of Waterloo

Dr. Shannon Stettner
York University

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