Sophie's choice: Narratives of ‘saving’ in British public debates on abortion

Abstract

In the UK, narratives about saved women and babies have been a significant feature in anti-abortion campaigns to oppose bufferzones, which seek to prevent anti-abortion activists from being directly outside abortion clinics. Anti-abortion activists argue that without their presence, the ‘abortion industry’ will fail to seek ‘informed’ consent and coerce women into abortions. These presumptions are based on positioning abortion, and service providers, as inherently ‘evil’, whilst saving is rooted in Christian beliefs aimed at ensuring that souls go to heaven. This paper emerges from ethnographic research in Britain on anti-abortion activism and pro-choice counter-demonstrations. Highlighting the importance of saving in many of the anti-abortion campaigns, it will argue that as they have a different conceptualisations of harm to pro-choice activists, this leads to a lack of understanding of each other's saving narrative. Yet to some extent they both draw on a positioning of women as potentially vulnerable and at risk from the actions of others.

Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wsif.2020.102332
Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities > Sociology and Policy
College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities > Centre for Critical Inquiry into Society and Culture (CCISC)
College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities
Additional Information: © 2020, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Uncontrolled Keywords: abortion,activism,saving,bufferzones
Publication ISSN: 1879-243X
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: https://linking ... 277539519301037 (Publisher URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2020-03-01
Published Online Date: 2020-01-16
Accepted Date: 2020-01-06
Authors: Lowe, Pam (ORCID Profile 0000-0001-5933-453X)
Page, Sarah-Jane (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-6879-536X)

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Version: Accepted Version

Access Restriction: Restricted to Repository staff only until 16 January 2022.

License: Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives


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