Viapolitics and the emancipatory possibilities of abortion mobilities

Scholarship on abortion travel has examined the places women travel between and why such journeys are necessary. However, there has been scant attention paid to the journeys themselves and how these journeys are undertaken. This paper uses William Walters’ notion of ‘viapolitics’ to better attend to how people travel by focussing on the role of vehicles in abortion politics. This takes three parts: an exploration of the emotional and embodied journeys that women have to take to access abortions; the role of the vehicle as a site of political activism around abortion rights; and the transportation of abortion medication. Viapolitics has to date only been used within migration politics but as this paper shows, it has utility beyond this field to interrogate abortion travels and highlight the role of vehicles in abortion access as well as to explore how abortion transport can be emancipatory for women. This paper furthers viapolitics by arguing that we need to consider the journeys of ‘things’ and not just people. In the case of abortion access, it is the transportation of abortion medication rather than the travel of women that is the most socially just solution to discriminatory laws and extra-legal barriers.


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  • Accession Number: 01760745
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 1 2020 3:01PM