Workshop: Doctors, Conscience and Abortion Provision

Doctors, Conscience and Abortion Provision

This is a one-day workshop hosted by the University of Kent, as a collaboration between the Centre for the Interdisciplinary Study of Reproduction (CISoR), the Centre for Parenting Culture Studies (CPCS) and the British Pregnancy Advisory Service. Date: Thursday 29th June 2017 Venue: Ground Floor, Cornwallis East Building, University of Kent, Canterbury Organisers: Dr Ellie Lee (SSPSSR) and Professor Sally Sheldon (Kent Law School), University of Kent

This event is one of a number taking place during 2017, the year of the 50th Anniversary of the 1967 Abortion Act. In common with other events, its aim is to promote critical reflection about this legislation.

In the academic literature, one widely commented on feature of the British abortion law is its ‘medicalisation’; that is, the centrality given by law to medical opinion in deciding on access to abortion procedures.

While this feature of the abortion legislation has generated a great deal of academic analysis and discussion in the disciplines of law, ethics and sociology, research and discussion about the opinions and experiences of doctors themselves is notably, and curiously, absent from research. The main purpose of this event is to place ‘medical opinion’, as it operates in practice at the centre of a discussion about abortion provision.The programme overall will take ‘conscience’ as its core theme.

The day will begin with a presentation by Professor Sally Sheldon about history of medical opinion in the development of the British Abortion law, based on work for the project ‘The Abortion Act: A Biography’ https://www.kent.ac.uk/law/aa1967/index.html.

The programme includes discussion about research considering abortion provision in England based on new research led by Dr Ellie Lee, but we will also widen the lens and benefit from a comparative focus. We are delighted to be able to include Dr Lori Freedman and Professor Wendy Chavkin from the US as presenters.

Session 1: Doctors and the Abortion Act 1967
Session 2: Abortion Providers: Doctors Who Do
Session3: Conscientious Objection: Doctors Who Don’t

You can find full details of programme and speakers here.

Book in for the event here (this event is free to attend, and places will be allocated on a first come basis).

PGR students are invited to submit Posters. Details on a pdf here (external link).

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