This book discusses abortion in a non-Western, non-Christian context - in Thailand, where over 300,000 illegal abortions are performed each year by a variety of methods. The book, based on extensive original research in the field, examines a wide range of issues, including stories of the real-life dilemmas facing women, popular representations of abortion in the media, the history of the debate in Thailand and its links to politics. Overall, the work highlights the voices of women and their subjective experiences and perceptions of abortion, and places these 'women's stories' in an analysis of broader socio-political gender and power relations that structure sexuality and women's reproductive health decisions.
Andrea Whittaker is a Joint Lecturer at the Key Centre for Women's Health in Society and the Melbourne Institute of Asian Languages and Societies, University of Melbourne. She is a medical anthropologist whose primary research interests relate to reproductive health, gender, and development in Thailand and Australia. Her previous books include Intimate Knowledge: Women and their health in Northeast Thailand.
1. Introduction: Bearing Politics 2. Abortion, Sin and the State 3. A History of the Abortion Debate 4. Conceiving the Nation: Representations of Abortion in Thailand 5. Corrupt Girls, Victims of Men, Desperate Women: Representations of Women who Abort 6. 'A Small Sin': Everyday Acts 7. 'The Truth of our Day by Day Lives': Situational Ethics 8. Global Debates, Local Dilemmas