Workshop: The Impact of the Medical Profession on Abortion Laws in Transitional and Post-conflict Societies

admin - 11th March 2019

On Thursday 4th April 2019 from 09:15-17:30pm the Institute for Global Innovation and Birmingham Law School are hosting a workshop on ‘The Impact of the Medical Profession on Abortion Laws in Transitional and Post-conflict Societies’. The workshop will be held in the Harding Building, University of Birmingham.

The aim of the workshop is to bring together academics, activists, and healthcare professionals from transitional and post-conflict countries where abortion laws has been or currently is in flux to discuss the way in which the medical profession participates and influences these changes. In particular the meeting will look at the role of the medical and human rights organisations in shaping abortion law reforms and their implementation.

The workshop will address the challenges arising with regard to:

a) the implementation of abortion laws in transitional and post-conflict societies by healthcare professionals;

b) the development and encouragement of liberal interpretations of abortion laws;

c) different patterns of mobilisation of the medical profession around abortion law reforms – whether in terms of developing liberal laws and practices or negotiating conservative/religious approaches to abortion laws.

The workshop aims to create a platform of mutual learning and knowledge-transfer between the countries from the so-called ‘Global North’ and countries from the ‘Global South’, which have recently undergone several transformations, i.e. political or socio-economic transition, and abortion law reforms. The workshop constitutes a rare opportunity for activists from the Global South to discuss the role of the medical profession in the mobilisation around issues of reproductive rights, and share practical strategies concerning the implementation of abortion laws. The project consciously moves away from the tradition conceptualisations of reproductive rights in terms of “abortion wars” and focuses on the dynamics between the healthcare professionals, patients, state institutions, and civil society. The workshop will include participants representing different disciplines and professional backgrounds lawyers, human rights advocates, philosophers, political scientists, anthropologists (social scientists) and representatives of the medical profession from Argentina, Colombia, Ireland, Malawi, Mozambique, Poland, and the UK.

You can register here.

For further information please contact: Atina Karjewska,; Mairead Enright,; or Eleni Sifaki,

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