International Research Collaboratives

Self-Managed Abortion in Law, Politics and Policy


Joanna Erdman, Mariana Prandini Assis

Self-managed abortion (SMA) started as a social experimentation among Brazilian women in the 1980s and has now become a recognized practice within the field of public health. While the field of public health has expanded knowledge about this novel social practice organized around rights discourse, health care and feminist principles social scientists have paid less attention to SMA.  The members of the proposed IRC are among the group of few sociolegal scholars who have researched SMA through a range of lenses. These include harm reduction, access to essential medicines, activist strategy for increasing access to service, impact of restrictive laws, lay activist expertise, public criminology and misoprostol as an agent of social change. Bringing together these scholars and their specific contributions will provide the opportunity for the development of a broader and multi-faceted framework to understanding SMA as a sociolegal phenomenon and the ways in which it affects and impacts the field of abortion law and policy, particularly its historical development, its scope and its future.


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