Reproductive Tourism: Cross-Border Travel for Abortion and Fertility Services

Reproductive Tourism: Cross-border travel for abortion and fertility services
Edited by Christabelle Sethna and Gayle Davis

In recent years, there has been an awakening of academic and media interest in the concept of medical tourism. Medical tourism, involving travel to obtain medical services outside one’s healthcare jurisdiction, has been characterised as a major transnational growth industry and one which raises fascinating and challenging logistical, legal and ethical questions.

However, among its current weaknesses, the existing literature fails to explore adequately the gendered dimensions of medical tourism, particularly the travel of women. Thus, we currently know little specifically about women’s access to medical services within this medical tourism framework.

A particular area of health care which demands to be addressed through this gendered lens is reproductive tourism. Reproductive tourism is considered a subset of medical tourism, but it is too often associated narrowly with travel to help women designated infertile conceive a child.

The reproductive tourism that we want to examine involves cross-border travel for abortion and fertility services. Given the significant number of women who seek out both of these services and the complex issues which each raises, a collection focusing on women’s cross-border travel, both domestic and international, for the purposes of abortion and/or fertility services, will fill a major gap in the literature on medical tourism.

We are planning an edited collection to investigate reproductive tourism for the purposes of abortion and/or fertility services from a range of chronological, geographical and disciplinary perspectives. The themes we hope to explore include, but are not limited to:

-histories of reproductive tourism
-the role of individuals, agencies and networks which assist women who travel
-transportation and accommodation
-barriers to reproductive travel
-legal, political and jurisdictional particularities
-the impact of gender, race, class, sexuality and age on access disparities
-the function of medical and non-medical personnel
-pro-choice/anti-choice activism
-feminist activism and analyses
-theoretical and practical distinctions between travel and tourism
-personal experiences or case studies of reproductive tourism
-reproductive health, rights and justice
-similarities and differences between abortion tourism and reproductive tourism

If you would like to be considered for inclusion in this edited collection, please send us your name(s), a short biography, the title of your proposed paper, and an abstract of 400 words by 28th March 2014. If selected, final papers will be due by 1st July 2014 and should be between 7-8,000 words including notes.

Please send all information and enquires to:

Dr. Christabelle Sethna
Associate Professor, University of Ottawa
Institute of Women=92s Studies
Faculty of Social Sciences
120 University Ave., 11th floor
Ottawa, Ontario
K1N 6N5


Dr. Gayle Davis
School of History, Classics and Archaeology
University of Edinburgh
William Robertson Wing
Teviot Place
Edinburgh, UK