Ruth Fletcher


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    Travelling for Abortion:
    A Framework for Future
    Advocacy and Research This presentation will discuss the ways in which
    the Irish Crisis Pregnancy Programme (formerly
    the Crisis Pregnancy Agency) has developed
    public governance of cross-border abortion
    care. In doing so my aim is to think more about
    the limits and potential of abortion travelling
    as an option for women living with restrictive
    abortion regimes. The governance of abortion
    travelling does seem to have the negative effect
    of consolidating the non-development of local
    lawful abortion services. But the Programme
    has also had the effect of providing publicly
    subsidised support for women who travel,
    enabling the reporting of extra-territorial abortion
    rates as national abortion rates, and of promoting

    abortion after-care on return. These public health
    measures, limited as they are, provide evidence
    of some public support for abortion use and may
    provide future resources for tackling domestic
    resistance to abortion provision.
    In analysing the Crisis Pregnancy Agency’s
    administration of an outward flow for abortion care,
    I identify its 4 key technologies of governance as
    the non-development of local abortion services,
    provision of support for exit, reporting of extra-
    territorial abortion rates, and promotion of aftercare
    on return. These technologies illustrate how state
    agencies may actively mobilise ‘the peripheral’
    as they claim to address local needs through
    participation in the regulation of cross-border
    healthcare. In so doing they configure a conception
    of the peripheral that does not want to become
    core and participates in transnational networks on
    its own terms. Secondly, this peripheralism is not
    constituted by the core, but cultivates dependency
    on core provision of healthcare in other
    jurisdictions. Thirdly, this peripheralism comes into
    being by focusing on marginal healthcare services
    (information, counselling, check-ups) on the fringes
    of abortion provision.