Date of Award

Spring 5-4-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Kathryn A. Kozaitis

Second Advisor

Cassandra White

Third Advisor

Jennie Burnet


Abortion access is constrained at various socio-cultural levels. While policy may be the most publicized level at which abortion access is determined, barriers to access are highly influenced by a variety of phenomena, including the cultural orientations of the clinic itself. In this thesis I examine the ways that the clinical context both enhances and constrains access to abortion. In this light, the abortion clinic is studied as a dynamic actor in an individual’s pursuit of abortion, and one whose structures, protocols, and cultural orientations are not taken for granted, but rather analyzed through the lens of a praxis-oriented, critical anthropology. Data collected by participant observation, informal and in-depth interviews, and surveys reveal the ways that community-level stigma of abortion along with the legacy of biomedicine manifest at the clinical level to both intensify and mitigate salient logistical, cognitive, and structural barriers to abortion.


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