Expanding reproductive justice through a supportability reparative justice framework: the case of abortion in South Africa
Catriona Ida Macleod
Theoretical refinement of the concept of reproductive justice has been called for. In this paper, I propose the use of a supportability reparative justice approach. Drawing on intra-categorical intersectionality, the supportability aspect starts from the event of a pregnancy to unravel the interwoven embodied and social realities implicated in women experiencing pregnancy as personally supportable/unsupportable, and socially supported/unsupported. The reparative justice aspect highlights the need for social repair in the case of unsupportable pregnancies and relies on Ernesto Verdeja’s critical theory of reparative justice in which he outlines four reparative dimensions. Using abortion within the South African context, I show how this framework may be put to use: (1) the facilitation of autonomous decision-making (individual material dimension) requires understanding women within context, and less emphasis on individual-driven ‘choice’; (2) the provision of legal, safe state-sponsored healthcare resources (collective material dimension) demands political will and abortion service provision to be regarded as a moral as well as a healthcare priority; (3) overcoming stigma and the spoiled identities (collective symbolic dimension) requires significant feminist action to deconstruct negative discourses and to foreground positive narratives; and (4) understanding individual lived experiences (individual symbolic dimension) means deep listening within the social dynamics of particular contexts.
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1080/13691058.2018.1447687