Abortion, Stigma, and Intersectionality

Joe Strong, Ernestina Coast, Rishita Nandagiri

Research output: Other contribution


Abortions and abortion-related care (e.g., pregnancy testing, information access, postabortion care) are essential healthcare. Stigma shapes abortion care access and experiences. Abortion stigma is linked to other reproductive stigmas, and is stratified across gender, race, class, and other axes. This stratification can heighten or exacerbate how stigma manifests, is experienced, or felt by abortion seekers and abortion providers. This chapter draws on two frameworks – intersectionality and Reproductive Justice – to examine how abortion stigma operates within matrices of oppression to shape abortion care at the micro, meso, and macro levels. After a short introduction to the concept of “stigma,” the chapter offers a detailed consideration of abortion stigma conceptualizations and their relevance for abortion care provision, and experiences of abortion care, policy, activism, and research. It demonstrates that an intersectional approach to abortion stigma at the micro, meso, and macro levels enables an understanding of the role of stigma in shaping and (re)producing forms of reproductive injustice for abortion care-seekers. It shows how abortion stigma has been resisted across these levels by a range of actors. The chapter concludes by underscoring the importance of understanding abortion stigma at multiple levels and calls for more work on understanding and resisting structural and macro-level manifestations of stigma.

Original languageEnglish
TypeLiving Reference
Media of outputText
PublisherSpringer, Cham
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-96778-9
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-96778-9
Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2023


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