THE DIRECTOR’S SEMINAR SERIES: Finding time in abortion law

THE DIRECTOR’S SEMINAR SERIES: Finding time in abortion law
06 Dec 2021, 16:00 to 06 Dec 2021, 17:30
Online (via Zoom)

This paper turns to literatures working at the interstices of law, time and social reproduction to assist with the theoretical and methodological challenge of developing a set of tools for working the time-related requirements in abortion law.  I identify three different, if connected, dimensions of legal time, which we need to consider together in order to understand better how such requirements (e.g. gestational time limits, waiting periods, crisis management) work in managing the withdrawal of gestational labour.  First, we could find time in the different material resources and processes (calendars, clocks, menstrual cycles, certification, illness, diagnosis, crisis, futures) that are used to measure legal time, including the gestational time regulated by abortion law.  Second, we could see how different norms of timeliness (punctuality, earliness, improvement, progression, repair, urgency, speculation) are legally prescribed in dissuading or encouraging certain behaviour, and how they contribute to the legal understanding of when abortion is timely. Third, we can trace how temporality is felt as different atmospheres (relief, pressure, vulnerability, anxiety, emergency, hopelessness) are conjured up by time-related requirements, atmospheres which may help explain the effects of abortion law’s arrangements.  Finding this complexity of multi-dimensional time in abortion law provides us with the beginnings of a collection of timely tools – materials, norms, atmospheres - for crafting better law, one which is more accountable to those who spend time gestating pregnancies, and those who care for them. 

Ruth Fletcher joined Queen Mary’s School of Law in September 2013, where she teaches and researches in medical law. Before that she was a Senior Lecturer at Keele University where she taught on a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses, including Healthcare Law and Medical Ethics and Law.

Speaker: Dr Ruth Fletcher, School of Law Queen Mary University of London

Chair: Professor Carl Stychin, Director of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS) and professor of law

This Webinar is free but advance booking is requiredDetails about how to join the virtual event will be circulated via email to registered attendees the day before the event. 



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