The crime of choice: abortion border crossings from Chile to Peru

Freeman, Cordelia (2017) The crime of choice: abortion border crossings from Chile to Peru. Gender, Place and Culture, 24 (6). pp. 851-868. ISSN 1360-0524

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Since 1989 abortion in Chile has been illegal in every single circumstance. This means that tens of thousands of women every year undergo clandestine abortions at great risk to their health. Class directly influences Chilean women’s relationships to abortion; wealthier women can pay for the confidentiality of a safe doctor whereas poorer women cannot. There is just one region where women regardless of class can easily travel to another country in search of abortions, Arica in northern Chile. This paper considers the previously unstudied phenomenon whereby women cross the border quickly and cheaply from northern Chile to the Peruvian city of Tacna where numerous clinics offer the procedure. This paper utilises Foucault’s concept of biopolitics to trace how women are forced to cross a border to avoid government legislation and finds that even by leaving the territory of the state, women do not fully leave state control. Despite the lack of official statistics, interviews with healthworkers and a young woman who made the crossing show that abortion border crossings do occur and this paper reflects on the legal, safety, and biopolitical ramifications of these journeys for Chilean women.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Gender, Place and Culture on 12 June 2017, available online:
Keywords: Abortion, Reproductive rights, Biopolitics, Chile, Peru, Border crossings
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Geography
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Freeman, Cordelia
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2017 13:18
Last Modified: 04 May 2020 18:49

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