Everyday bordering and border-crossing solidarities for reproductive justice: Contestations and transnational connections in the organising for abortion rights and reproductive justice in Ireland
About the project
The doctoral project explores the movement for reproductive rights and justice during and following the historical repeal of the 8th amendment (the abortion ban) in the Republic of Ireland. On September 28th 2019, the 7th March for Choice took place in Dublin. It was the first since the new Health (Termination of Pregnancy) Act had come into effect and was organized under the banner "No one left behind". The Act, which replaced the one and half-century-long draconian ban on abortion in the country, has also been referred to as "a missed opportunity" to redefine who is deemed to belong and valued in Irish society. As minority grassroots groups and activists had anticipated, the new legislation leaves many, but particularly the marginalised along the lines of class, race, gender and legal-political status, behind without access to free, safe and legal abortion.
The thesis aims to explore contestations and connections during the mobilisation for a repeal of the abortion ban, and the continuing organising for reproductive justice, following upon the referendum and the new legislation. The thesis aims to locate ongoing contestations within processes of state and everyday bordering as these processes are understood to condition different bodies' access to political organizing and claims-making. This in turn relates to how the organisations and grassroots groups, while they all actively mobilised for #Repealthe8th, also inhabit multiple and shifting majority and minority, dominant and non-dominant positions vis-à-vis the state and 'the public'. Second, the project aims to explore how trans-local and transnational connections and solidarities are built between groups to share knowledge, forward demands and challenge state bordering and borders.
Theoretical and methodological frame
The study is theoretically and methodologically situated within feminist postcolonial feminist theory (McClintock 1995; Mohanty 1984; 2003) to centre how colonial, raced, sexed and gendered borders (Erel 2018; Sager & Mulinari 2018; Keskinen 2018; Lonergan 2012; Yuval-Davis et al 2019) are being reproduced through ongoing global and national political processes of bordering (Yuval-Davis et al 2019; Van Houtom & Van Naerssen 2002) and precarization (Butler 2004, 2015). Fieldwork, including participant observation and interviews with activists and grassroots groups mobilising for reproductive rights and justice, is to be conducted in the autumn of 2022 (moved from spring 2020).