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Reproductive Citizenship: Comparative analysis of effects of differential pathways to legalising abortion on Island of Ireland on Service User Articulations of Citizenship [REPROCIT]


Until 2019, abortion was illegal, with little exception, on both parts of the island of Ireland. On both parts of the island, legal change has meant abortion care is now a part of legal reproductive health care. For people seeking abortion care since 2019, this has meant being able to access abortion care at home, where previously they would have had to travel abroad.
This study explores how women and people who can get pregnant feel about their sense of belonging in each country because they can now access this care at home. We are interested to see how the legal regulation of reproductive health shapes people’s sense of belonging to the state they live in, or what we call reproductive citizenship.
We want to capture how the historic changes impacted on women and people who can get pregnant across the island. We want to interview people who have had abortions since legalisation about the legal change and how it was brought about to hear if this has impacted on their sense of belonging. We will do this through confidential, one-to-one interviews with people who have accessed abortion in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland since legalisation.


Dr Catherine Conlon

Principal Investigator, Associate Professor in Social Policy, School of Social Work and Social Policy, Trinity College Dublin
Her research focuses on the social politics of reproduction and sexuality. An expert in qualitative research methods, she has published widely on abortion and crisis pregnancy, sexual socialisation, and inter-generational relations. She completed research with Irish women attending abortion services in England in 1994-1996 and again in 2004-2006 and on topics including parents’ accounts of talking with their children about sexuality, the body and growing up. She co-authored, with Evelyn Mahon and Lucy Dillon, Women and Crisis Pregnancy published by Government Publications in 1998. She publishes in high-impact, peer-reviewed academic journals including Qualitative Research, Qualitative Health Research and Gender & Society. Dr Conlon teaches across undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, supervises Masters and PhD students, and is Co-Director of TCD’s Social Policy Joint Honours programme.

Dr. Fiona Bloomer

CO-Principal Investigator, Senior Lecturer in Social Policy, School of Applied Social and Policy Science, Ulster University
She is an international expert on abortion policy, publishing extensively on this topic, including as lead author of the critically acclaimed book, Reimagining Global Abortion Politics. Dr Bloomer’s research played a key role in informing the campaign to change the abortion law in Northern Ireland, where she worked closely with the activist organisation Alliance for Choice. She was called as an expert witness to three inquiries on abortion in Northern Ireland, hosted by The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women; the UK Parliament’s Women and Equalities Committee, and British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly. Fiona is co-editor of a forthcoming two-volume book, published by Bloomsbury, which examines how decriminalisation of abortion was achieved in Northern Ireland. Each chapter is authored by an individual or collection of individuals who were directly involved in the decades-long battle to achieve historic legal change.

Dr. Kate Antosik-Parsons

Post-Doctoral Researcher, School of Social Work and Social Policy, Trinity College Dublin
Kate is an interdisciplinary scholar working across the humanities and social sciences. Her research focuses on the cultural and social histories of gender and sexuality in Ireland. She was previously a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in Social Studies on the HSE- Sexual Health and Crisis Pregnancy (SCHPP) funded Unplanned Pregnancy and Abortion Care (UnPAC) study researching people's experiences of accessing abortion care in Ireland since January 2019. She has published on topics of embodiment, gender and sexuality in Irish art and visual culture, and on pedagogy and leadership in feminist

Emma Campbell

Research Associate, School of Applied Social and Political Science, Ulster University
She completed her practice-based PhD which addressed photography as an activist tool for abortion rights, at Ulster University. She is also a member of the Turner Prize-winning Array Collective and has exhibited in international solo and group shows. Emma is the co-convenor of Alliance for Choice and a core campaigner since 2011.