Women and Politics Speaker Series: Claire McKinney, Ph.D., (William & Mary) presents “A Good Abortion is a Tragic Abortion”

March 26, 2019

Claire McKinney

Claire McKinney, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Government Department at William & Mary, argues that one dominant tragic abortion narrative, that of the disabled fetus, works to recuperate the moral status of “fit” mothers while actively constructing disabled lives as unlivable and undesirable. The option to stigmatize disability in recuperating the moral status of the woman who has an abortion relies on eugenic logics that also construct a variety of women (racialized, poor, disabled, and young) as illegitimate reproductive subjects. While much of the attention to how genetic selection reinforces disability stigma fails to present the feminist case for the right to unrestricted abortion, McKinney rearticulates the feminist case for unrestricted reproductive rights in order to challenge the current framing of prenatal genetic diagnosis as an ethical failure and to present the opportunity to refigure reproductive rights as disability rights.

The Women and Politics Speaker Series is a new joint initiative between the Departments of Political Science and Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies.

Event information:

Tuesday, March 26
7:00 p.m.
MCALC 2100
Free and open to the public.

For further information or to request accommodations, contact Alexandra Reckendorf at