Arbitrating abortion: Sex selection and care work among abortion providers in England

Ben Kasstan, Maya Unnithan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


The UK’s on-going sex-selective abortion (SSA) controversy remains a major obstacle to the liberalization of national abortion governance, and is an issue broadly attributed to a “cultural” preference for sons among South Asian women. We conceptualize how healthcare professionals “arbitrate” requests for SSA by exploring the tension between its legal status and how requests are encountered by abortion providers. SSA is framed in this article as a legitimate care service that can support providers to meet the diverse reproductive health needs of women to the full extent of the law.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMedical Anthropology
Publication statusPublished - 18 Feb 2020

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