Reproductive Justice

18 de April, 2023

The woman’s word: truth-making practices in legal abortion services in Brazil

This book by Vanessa Canabarro Dios is the result of a doctoral research about the procedures and practices to which women are subjected when trying to access legal abortion in Brazil. In the process, 82 healthcare professionals from five reference services were interviewed, one from each region of the country, including medical doctors, nurses, nursing technicians, social workers, and psychologists.

​​Despite the particularities in the organization and functioning of the services, Dios identified a shared regime of suspicion of women’s stories, which is revealed through forensic procedures that investigate both the violence suffered by the victim and her subjectivity.

Testimony, confession, inquiry, and examination reflect the analytical axis that directed the forensic practices. The truth of the rape for legal abortion is not limited to a personal narrative with a status of truth, as regulated by the technical norms of the Ministry of Health. It is a moral and discursive construction, produced by the submission of women and of the services to a patriarchal order.

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