The offence of assault already addresses contexts where a woman may be coerced to undergo medical procedures, including abortion. Hence, Greasley and Sheldon argue that the criminalisation of SSA to protect women who are subject to direct coercion is unnecessary. Thus Bruce framed her Bill as designed to enable more effective and consistent implementation of existing legislation, mitigating against concerns that it would alter the right to abortion granted by the Abortion Act , an alteration pro-choice groups would refuse to back.
Here, it is worth scrutinising the selection of certain aspects of the proposed policy—a selection that is a contingent, political act Hurst and Yanow, , p.
As illustrated earlier, evidence of the prevalence of SSA in the UK is contradictory and inconclusive. She drew on the anecdotal experiences of charities working with South Asian women to argue that SSA and domestic violence related to the births of girls were common, but she did not present systematic evidence on the prevalence of SSA in the UK.
This omission could reflect the format of the Ten Minute Rule, which does not provide scope for detailed scrutiny of the evidence or the inconclusive nature of the evidence. Despite the lack of conclusive evidence on the widespread prevalence of SSA in the UK and in the context of the media representation of SSA as a problem in some minority ethnic communities, Bruce instead drew upon these anecdotal accounts in a process that selectively framed them as scientific evidence.
Bruce named SSA as one particular manifestation of a broader problem of VAWG in minority communities, whereby, in a context of son preference, women are denied their reproductive rights and coerced into undergoing termination of female foetuses. However, this example does not suggest Rupinder had been subject to any explicit threats or coercive expectations from her husband or his family.
What needs to be addressed in those dire circumstances is the abuse itself. This framing draws attention to a set of circumstances—explicit and direct coercion—within which most pro-choice feminists would problematise abortion.
Here the process of selection and categorisation can be clearly observed. In tandem with the selective focus on the ambiguities of existing legislation and absence of statistical evidence on the prevalence of SSA in the UK, Bruce selected a set of accounts from a few individuals and agencies to construct a story that categorised SSA as a social problem.
Framing and problematising SSA as a coercive mechanism imposed on South Asian women whose agency is constrained by an abusive culture, however, has the impact of placing greater scrutiny on abortion decisions made by women in minority communities as a means of curbing SSA.
Thus, we can observe what Hurst and Yanow , p. One of the most trenchant insights of postcolonial feminist theory has been that homogenised depictions of Third World women essentialise the Third World as if it were a singular locale.
This reads in a manner similar to colonial texts proclaiming the need to save and protect the oppressed from themselves Mani, Understanding the processes of sense-making at work in the parliamentary debates on SSA entails unpacking the assumptions and presuppositions that inform this representation of the problem, as well as questioning the silences therein—namely, what is left unproblematised Bacchi, The particular assumptions and presuppositions revolve around the construction of South Asian women as a homogeneous category who, according to Fauszia Ahmad , p.
The silent assumption is that abortion decisions in white communities are free from coercive socio-economic and cultural constraints and, thus, these women can make free choices, unmediated by their social context. It is within these constraints that all women make decisions to continue with or terminate pregnancies. This rhetoric of choice frames white women as free agents when making reproductive decisions and so differentiates them from their British Asian counterparts. Instead of suggesting a response in the form of bolstering consent procedures, Bruce advocated restricting abortion rights for the latter.
The argument around family balancing, however, was peripheral in terms of the framing of the Bill; Bruce did not refer to it again, nor was it mentioned in media reports see, for instance, Watt et al.
In countries with high levels of SSA of female foetuses, similar arguments have been made in relation to the perceived lower worth of such foetuses.
This entailed naming SSA within minority communities as a problem with resonance for feminists, in particular, and policymakers, more broadly. Rahila Gupta draws attention to critiques of this position by transnational feminists, arguing for the need to take account of the nature of coercion for poor and marginalised women in low-income countries and where such women often face pressure to abort as a form of birth control. Bruce invoked the issue of violence against existing women and future girls when she cast intervention as a step towards achieving gender equality—the traditional terrain of feminist and pro-choice groups.
The arguments presented in support of the Bill help explain the cross-party support for it in a context where parliamentary debates on abortion had hitherto been sharply polarised Weale et al. Nivedita Menon argues that this dilemma arises because feminists seem to be counterposing the rights of future women to be born against the rights of present women to exercise control over their bodies. However, a feminist perspective requires a recognition and critique of broader socio-economic and cultural factors.
Criminalising SSA constructs a particular set of limitations—related to the culture of son preference—as eroding choice, while ignoring other, normalised social constructs that are, thus, rendered invisible. This presents a fundamental challenge for feminists: to reshape the socio-economic culture that informs son preference and daughter aversion rather than simply advocating for measures clarifying the illegality of SSA. While access to abortion does not resolve any of the underlying issues, the prevailing framing of abortion politics shifts attention away from these problems and, thus, renders them less likely to be the subject of measures to address them.
For many non-white, non-middle-class women who might otherwise identify with the mainstream feminist movement, access to prenatal care, contraceptive services and freedom from coerced sterilisation may be much more pressing reproductive issues in relation to autonomy than abortion.
In , the most recent year for which data were available, six women were identified to have died as a result of complications from legal induced abortion. Interpretation: Among the 49 areas that reported data every year during —, decreases in the total number, rate, and ratio of reported abortions resulted in historic lows for the period of analysis for all three measures of abortion.
Public Health Action: The data in this report can help program planners and policymakers identify groups of women with the highest rates of abortion. Unintended pregnancy is the major contributor to induced abortion. Increasing access to and use of effective contraception can reduce unintended pregnancies and further reduce the number of abortions performed in the United States.
Data obtained every year during — from these same 49 reporting areas were used for trend analyses. Since , CDC has conducted abortion surveillance to document the number and characteristics of women obtaining legal induced abortions in the United States 1. After nationwide legalization of abortion in , the total number, rate number of abortions per 1, women aged 15—44 years , and ratio number of abortions per 1, live births of reported abortions increased rapidly, reaching the highest levels in the s before decreasing at a slow yet steady pace 2—4.
During —, a break occurred in the previously sustained pattern of decrease 5—8 , although this break has been followed in all subsequent years by even greater decreases 9— Nonetheless, throughout the years, the incidence of abortion has varied considerably across subpopulations and remains higher in certain demographic groups than others 17— Continued surveillance is needed to monitor changes in the incidence of abortion in the United States.
Methods Description of the Surveillance System Each year, CDC requests aggregated data from the central health agencies of 52 reporting areas the 50 states, DC, and New York City to document the number and characteristics of women obtaining legal induced abortions in the United States. This report contains data reported to CDC as of April 1, In most states, collection of abortion data are facilitated by the legal requirement for hospitals, facilities, and physicians to report all abortions to a central health agency These central health agencies then voluntarily report the abortion data they have collected through their independent surveillance systems However, although reporting to CDC is voluntary, most reporting areas provide their abortion numbers.
Although CDC obtains abortion numbers from most of the central health agencies, it receives only aggregate numbers and reporting is not complete in all areas, including in certain areas with reporting requirements Moreover, the level of detail received on the characteristics of women obtaining abortions varies considerably from year to year and by reporting area To encourage more uniform collection of these details, CDC has collaborated with the National Association for Public Health Statistics and Information Systems to develop reporting standards and provide technical guidance for vital statistics personnel who collect and summarize abortion data within the United States.
However, because the collection and reporting of abortion data are not federally mandated, many reporting areas have developed their own data collection forms, and therefore do not collect or provide all the information or level of detail included in this report. Variables and Categorization of Data Each year, CDC sends suggested templates to the central health agencies for compilation of abortion data in aggregate.
This method was used to account for time after last menstrual period until ovulation in a standard day cycle, because fertilization occurs around the time of ovulation In this report, medical and surgical abortions are further categorized by gestational age. Although total numbers and percentages are useful for determining how many women have obtained an abortion, abortion rates adjust for differences in population size and reflect how likely abortion is among women in particular groups.
Abortion ratios measure the relative number of pregnancies in a population that end in abortion compared with live birth. Abortion ratios are influenced both by the proportion of pregnancies in a population that are unintended and the proportion of unintended pregnancies that end in abortion. Census Bureau estimates of the resident female population of the United States were used as the denominator for calculating abortion rates 32— Overall abortion rates were calculated from the population of women aged 15—44 years living in the reporting areas that provided data.
For the calculation of abortion ratios, live birth data were obtained from CDC natality files and included births to women of all ages living in the reporting areas that provided abortion data Data Presentation and Analysis This report provides state-specific and overall abortion numbers, rates, and ratios for the 49 areas that reported to CDC for excludes California, Maryland, and New Hampshire. In addition, this report describes the characteristics of women who obtained abortions in Because the completeness of reporting on the characteristics of women varies by year and by variable, this report only describes the characteristics of women obtaining abortions in areas that met reporting standards i.
Cells with a value in the range of 1—4 or cells that would allow for calculation of these values have been suppressed to maintain confidentiality. In Texas, the state where the single, pregnant woman who became Jane Roe sued for access to an abortion 41 years ago, Wendy Davis became a national hero for filibustering abortion legislation, as did her governor for signing it into law.
Lawsuits have been waged and courts have adjudicated, and still we seem no closer to consensus on when, where, how, and if a woman should be able to terminate a pregnancy. Even in Roe v. Successive court rulings have granted even more latitude in writing abortion laws, and legislators have responded by creating a patchwork of regulations: Arkansas has banned abortion after twelve weeks, while in Louisiana, a woman is shown her ultrasound before having an abortion.
This month, a federal appeals court upheld a similar law in Texas, closing all but a handful of clinics. Nearly half of all pregnancies are unintended; about half of those—1. And yet abortion is something we tend to be more comfortable discussing as an abstraction; the feelings it provokes are too complicated to face in all their particularities.
Which is perhaps why, even in doggedly liberal parts of the country, very few people talk openly about the experience, leaving the reality of abortion, and the emotions that accompany it, a silent witness in our political discourse. As their stories show, the experience of abortion in the United States in is vastly uneven. It varies not just by state but also by culture, race, income, age, family; by whether a boyfriend offered a ride to the clinic or begged her not to go; by the compassion or callousness of the medical staff; by whether she took the pill alone at home or navigated protesters outside a clinic.
Some feel so shamed that they will never tell their friends or family; others feel stronger for having gotten through the experience. The same woman can wake up one morning with regret, the next with relief—most have feelings too knotty for a picket sign. I wanted to keep it. When I was thirteen weeks, we made an appointment at the closest clinic in Kentucky, four hours away, but the night before, we decided not to go.
Stop crying, act like a woman. When I cry about it, I cry alone. They sent a black woman in to talk to me. They assumed I was on food stamps. I was a year-old paralegal—not the stereotype. They sent me home with a rattle and onesie. This was in , not some bygone era. They sent me to another place to get a free ultrasound. I went ahead and had my son. I had no information. After the third time, I ran into a reproductive-justice advocate who finally taught me how to understand my fertility.
I went to a community health center and said I wanted to talk to a nurse about my options. They told me to leave. The closest three clinics were all miles away. My boyfriend, now my husband, came with me. We left at 5 p. It was the dead of winter, cold. Weather can be touchy through the Rockies. I felt very on edge. I wished someone I knew besides my boyfriend was nearby.
When we got to the clinic, an escort met us at the car and asked if we wanted a bulletproof vest. Inside the clinic, the doctor took my hand and apologized that I had to travel so far. Ten minutes later, it was done. We usually slept in the car. I took a pregnancy test peeing over the kind of bucket you mix concrete in outside a dilapidated, vacant house.
Then, in , I was pregnant by my boyfriend Steve. We worked together at Target. He wanted to get married and have the baby. I was barely supporting the son I had, still living with my parents. My mom and I went to Planned Parenthood. It was pouring rain.
The picketers met us at the car with disgusting pictures. I told them I already had a baby. The doctor acted like it was assembly-line work.
Abortion surveillance—United States, In addition, this report describes the characteristics of women who obtained abortions in All 49 of these areas provided data every year during —
Because of variation that occurred among reporting areas in the percentage of abortions obtained by out-of-state residents from 0.
Removing cost as a barrier and increasing access to the most effective contraceptive methods can help to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and consequently the number of abortions performed in the United States. Abortion Mortality CDC has reported data on abortion-related deaths periodically since information on abortion mortality first was included in the abortion surveillance report 15, Because of variation that occurred among reporting areas in the percentage of abortions obtained by out-of-state residents from 0. For a time, women bought misoprostol at flea markets in the valley.
She realized that there was an easier way to do this than showing up in a port. To evaluate overall trends in the number, rate, and ratio of reported abortions, annual data are presented for the 49 areas that reported every year during —
Because unintended pregnancy is the major contributor to abortion, and unintended pregnancies are rare among women who use the most effective methods of contraception, increasing access to and use of these methods can help further reduce the number of unintended pregnancies, and therefore abortions, performed in the United States. Although transcripts of these conversations revealed that sex had been mentioned in relation to a genetic disorder—which can be sex-specific—in one case, the article omitted this significant detail. This omission could reflect the format of the Ten Minute Rule, which does not provide scope for detailed scrutiny of the evidence or the inconclusive nature of the evidence. Third, abortion data are compiled and reported to CDC by the central health agency of the reporting area in which the abortion was performed rather than the reporting area in which the woman lived. If they are inserted vaginally, they may leave fragments.