Subverting women, access to abortion services in Manitoba

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Comaskey, Brenda.
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"Subverting women." The title of this project has dual meanings. On the one hand, women's lives and experiences are subverted by power inequality and by dominant discourses which claim to know the 'truth' about women's lives. The first parts of this study outline these processes from the perspective of feminist poststructuralism. On the other hand, women themselves can be 'subverting' in that they challenge patriarchal relations and strive to expand alternative discourses which better reflect their lives and experiences. The latter pans of this study describe the findings of interviews with nine women in Winnipeg about their experiences accessing abortion in Manitoba. Three main themes emerged from the interviews: the meaning of the abortion experience to the women; barriers to access; and the stigma and silence attached to abortion. This study privileges the words of the women who participated. The women define their experiences as their own, contrary co the dominant discourses. Their stories provide us with an opportunity to challenge the way the dominant discourses frame abortion, as well as the barriers they create and sustain, and to identify areas where access can be improved.