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Soc Sci Med. 2017 Jul;184:75-83. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2017.05.001. Epub 2017 May 3.

Dangertalk: Voices of abortion providers.

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University of Michigan, Dearborn, Women's and Gender Studies Program & Dept. Health & Human Services, USA. Electronic address:
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Institute for Research on Women and Gender, USA.
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Dept. of Obstetrics & Gynecology, USA.
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Dept. of Obstetrics & Gynecology, USA; University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Dept. of Women's Studies, USA.


Researchers have described the difficulties of doing abortion work, including the psychosocial costs to individual providers. Some have discussed the self-censorship in which providers engage in to protect themselves and the pro-choice movement. However, few have examined the costs of this self-censorship to public discourse and social movements in the US. Using qualitative data collected during abortion providers' discussions of their work, we explore the tensions between their narratives and pro-choice discourse, and examine the types of stories that are routinely silenced - narratives we name "dangertalk". Using these data, we theorize about the ways in which giving voice to these tensions might transform current abortion discourse by disrupting false dichotomies and better reflecting the complex realities of abortion. We present a conceptual model for dangertalk in abortion discourse, connecting it to functions of dangertalk in social movements more broadly.


Abortion; Abortion providers; United States; Workshop

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