Association for Feminist Anthropology
Volunteered - Oral Presentation Session
The climate outside of abortion clinics in North Carolina is one of constant struggle, where from one day to the next, the pro-life protesters impact the ways that people seek and access abortion services. However, this paper looks at the importance of other people, such as patient’s friends, family, romantic partners, to hindering or helping access abortion services. In my survey on experiences with clinic protesting at two independent abortion clinics, approximately 70% of participants noted that having someone accompany them to the clinic made it easier to deal with the protesters. This paper explores the struggles of people and their companions to the clinic, as they resist the internal conflicts that often result from interactions with pro-life protesters and shows how the tensions created by interactions of protesters, companions and patients influences experiences of abortion, how people talk about their experiences of abortion, and the public media stories we tell about experiences of abortion. I explore the ways that companions to the clinic can help alleviate and exacerbate this tension through the stories that people tell about their experiences at the abortion clinic, and how it impacts them and their personal relationships after their procedures.