Abortion information governance and women's travels across European borders

Elsevier, Women's Studies International Forum, Volume 87, 1 July 2021
Zanini G., Mishtal J., De Zordo S., Ziegler A.-K., Gerdts C.

The World Health Organization considers the provision of information about safe, legal abortion essential for good-quality abortion care, but the question remains about who is responsible for providing information to people whose needs are not met in their own countries. Using data from a mixed-method research conducted with women travelling from France, Germany, Italy, and Ireland to seek abortion care in the UK, the Netherland, and Spain, we map the trajectories through which people receive information about accessing abortion abroad. We analyze the role of health professionals, activists, and online sources in people's accounts of information gathering. We argue that different formal approaches to information on national and international services distinctively affect women's experiences, and that transnational information flows occupy a crucial role in women's ability to travel. We also argue that managing information is an important aspect of how governments, practitioners or other actors navigate and exercise reproductive governance.