Breaking the silence on abortion: the role of adult community abortion education in fostering resistance to norms

by Fiona K. Bloomer, Kellie O’Dowd, Catriona Macleod

Culture, Health & Sexuality 19(7):709-22 November 2016  doi: 10.1080/13691058.2016.1257740

Meanings of abortion in society are constructed within sociohistorical and gendered spaces and manifested through myriad discourses that impact on the perception and treatment of the issue in that society. In societies with powerful oppressive anti-abortion norms, such as Northern Ireland, little is known as to how these norms are resisted by the adult population. This study uses a Foucauldian feminist approach to show how resistance to religious and patriarchal norms can be fostered through adult community abortion education. This resistance is multi-faceted and bolstered by a lived experience discourse, which does not necessarily involve eschewing religious notions held within society.