Finding a space between choice and life: Tche emotional landscape of abortion
LE3 .A278 2012
Master of Education
Women’s personal interpretations and understandings of abortion are often overlooked when examining abortion. This research study aimed to answer the question, “how does having an abortion contribute to these women’s evolving self-identity” through giving voice to six interviewees who had abortions. I use Max Van Manen’s phenomenology to frame a methodological approach that provides a framework for addressing this self-identity question. It is known that women are caught in a “…crossfire of a heated ideological battle” in that “the pro-choice contention is that most women feel relieved after terminating an unwanted pregnancy [and] the anti-abortion camp asserts killing an unborn child psychologically scars the mother” (Keys, 2010, 41). This research is designed to examine how having an abortion contributes to self-identity with a particular focus on finding a space between choice and life. I employ a theoretical framework using both Anyhony Giddens' understanding of the reflexive project of the self and Zygmunt Bauman's concept of ambivalence. My analysis demonstrates how these women reflexively construct personal narratives containing what I call an alternative past, a positive present and a hopeful future as they assimilate the abortion experience into self identity
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