By the same authors

From the same journal

From the same journal

From the same journal

Expecting motherhood? Stratifying reproduction in twenty-first century Scottish abortion practice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review



Publication details

DateE-pub ahead of print - 9 Nov 2012
DatePublished (current) - Jul 2013
Issue number3
Number of pages17
Pages (from-to)509-525
Early online date9/11/12
Original languageEnglish


This article illustrates how Scottish health professionals involved in contemporary abortion provision construct stratified expectations about women’s reproductive decision-making. Drawing on 42 semi-structured interviews I reveal the contingent discourses through which health professionals constitute the ‘rationality’ of the female subject who requests abortion. Specifically, I illustrate how youth, age, parity and class are mobilised as criteria through which to distinguish ‘types’ of patient whose requests for abortion are deemed particularly understandable or particularly problematic. I conceptualise this process of differentiation as a form of ‘stratified reproduction’ (Colen, 1995; Ginsburg and Rapp, 1995) and argue that it is significant for two reasons. Firstly, it illustrates the operation of dominant discourses concerning abortion and motherhood in 21st-century Britain. Secondly, it extends the forms of critique which feminist scholarship has developed, to date, of the regulation of abortion provision in the UK.

Discover related content

Find related publications, people, projects, datasets and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations