Gender Issues

, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 209–225 | Cite as

Private Bleeding: Self-Induced Abortion in the Twenty-First Century United States

  • Tiana Bakić HaydenEmail author
Original Article


Although not common, self-induced abortion continues to exist in the contemporary United States, where women are being criminalized for the practice. This paper analyzes the reasons that women have for inducing their own abortions given the existence of legal alternatives. It argues that changes in medical technologies and information technologies have made self-abortions safer and more accessible, while structural and cultural barriers have limited access to legal abortions. While some feminists and reproductive rights advocates have problematized the practice of self-aborting itself as dangerous and indicative of the deterioration of the rights guaranteed under Roe v Wade, this paper suggests that feminists must turn their attentions to changing the terms under which abortion is treated under the law.


Abortion law Medical abortion Roe v Wade Misoprostol Self-abortion 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.New York UniversityNew YorkUSA

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