Thursday, April 26, 2012

What’s in a name?

When I was determining the working title for this project, Canadian Abortion Experience came to me quickly.  I wanted this collection to reflect the thoughts, experiences, and ideas of women (and men) from across the country. The subtitle, Voices on Choice(s), came less easily and it is one I am not entirely comfortable with.  And yet, it remains.

To be honest, “choice” is a word that makes me a little uncomfortable.  When I first became active in the pro-choice movement, it resonated strongly with me and I know it continues to do so for many women.  Over time, I’ve grown less attached to the word because I've come to see “choice” as an illusion – far too few women who make the “choice” to have an abortion truly enjoy the freedom and equality necessary to make that a real (and empowering) decision.  Others, I know, see “choice” as the ideal to which we should strive.  Still others see it as euphemistic – a shying away from the word “abortion”.  A dialogue on the meanings of “choice” is but one of the outcomes I hope from this project.

My aim is for Canadian Abortion Experience: Voices on Choice(s) to provide a space for dialogue among activists, academics, practitioners, and other Canadians interested in abortion on myriad aspects of the issue. As members of a movement (or movements) we make choices on how we perceive and frame issues and those choices evolve (or don’t) over time.  Whether we agree, disagree, or agree to disagree, ongoing dialogue keeps the movement(s) healthy and relevant and strong.

The other part of the book, narratives on the abortion experiences of Canadians, is also about choices – the choice (even when there are constraints) to have an abortion, the choice to provide abortion services, the choice to fight for reproductive freedom.  These are the stories we need to record and remember. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Call for Contributors

Call for Contributors

Canadian Abortion Experience: Voices on Choice(s)

Canadian Abortion Experience: Voices on Choice(s) is an edited collection that explores the abortion-related experiences of Canadian women (and men), activists, practitioners, and academics. At a time when women’s access to safe and legal abortion is facing renewed scrutiny under a majority Conservative government, this timely collection explores the issue from a variety of perspectives.

Divided into two parts, Canadian Abortion Experience will include narratives relaying the abortion experiences of patients, practitioners, activists, and others whose lives have been touched by abortion as well as think pieces and dialogues on a variety of issues pertaining to the pro-choice movement in Canada.  

Narratives should share remembrances, thoughts, feelings, motivations, and experiences as they pertain to abortion either on a personal or professional level.

Topics for think pieces may include (but are not limited to):

▪What does (or doesn't) “choice” mean to you?
▪Linguistic strategies (e.g. the use of “abortion rights” vs. “reproductive rights”; the use of “anti-choice” vs. “anti-abortion”; the use of “choice”)
▪Mobilizing the pro-choice majority (abortion and the “everywoman”)
▪Refocusing the abortion debate on the pregnant woman instead of the fetus
▪Reflections on the place/role of Morgentaler in pro-choice history/narrative
▪Future strategies for pro-choice activism
▪Continuities, changes, and challenges between the second and third waves of pro-choice feminist activism in Canada
▪Inclusions and exclusions in the pro-choice movement (e.g. class, race, ethnicity, regionalism)
▪The relationship between academic and frontline activism
▪Abortion and religion
▪Abortion and sexuality
▪Abortion and technology
▪Unequal access to abortion services
▪Reproductive justice
▪The medicalization of abortion

Think pieces should be short essays between 500 and 2500 words. Narratives can be of variable length up to approximately 2,000 words. All material should be original, unpublished elsewhere.

Submissions are due June 30, 2012.

For further information or to submit a piece, please contact Shannon Stettner, editor, via