The Bad Mother: Stigma, Abortion and Surrogacy

The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, Special Issue: SYMPOSIUM: Intersections in Reproduction: Perspectives on Abortion and Assisted Reproductive Technologies, Volume 43, Issue 2, pages 179-191, Summer 2015

13 Pages Posted: 12 Nov 2015

Date Written: August 4, 2015

Abstract

Why do certain decisions about reproduction engender social support, other decisions social disapproval? Surrogacy and abortion represent two different facets of procreative liberty, the right to reproduce and the right to avoid reproducing, but these different experiences may carry similar stigmatic harm, for both disrupt traditional expectations of the pregnant woman. This article examines how stigma attached to abortion and surrogacy reveals similar patterns of gender stereotyping. It argues that evidence of stigma is relevant to determining whether laws regulating abortion or surrogacy are based on impermissible stereotyping. Stigma evidence is probative in determining whether gender stereotypes influenced legislative purpose and in assessing the degree of harm imposed by a regulation.

Keywords: abortion, surrogacy, stigma, reproductive rights, reproductive justice, reproductive technology, women’s rights

Suggested Citation

Abrams, Paula L., The Bad Mother: Stigma, Abortion and Surrogacy (August 4, 2015). The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, Special Issue: SYMPOSIUM: Intersections in Reproduction: Perspectives on Abortion and Assisted Reproductive Technologies, Volume 43, Issue 2, pages 179-191, Summer 2015, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2688817

Paula L. Abrams (Contact Author)

Lewis & Clark Law School ( email )

10015 S.W. Terwilliger Blvd.
Portland, OR 97219
United States
503-768-6632 (Phone)
503-768-6716 (Fax)

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