Term of Award

Spring 2018

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Social Sciences (M.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Committee Chair

Jennifer Sweeney Tookes

Committee Member 1

Heidi Altman

Committee Member 2

Clare Walsh

Committee Member 3

April Schueths

Committee Member 3 Email



Abortion is a common medical procedure, with twenty-one percent of all American pregnancies ending in induced abortion in 2011. Literature shows that abortion is highly stigmatized in the United States and even more so in the American South. The contentious discourse surrounding the moral and ethical viewpoints, “right” versus “wrong,” often overpowers women’s lived experiences. Although abortion has been studied extensively across multiple disciplines, literature on women’s lived experiences is limited. Previous research has focused on women in the Midwest, West, and Northeastern regions of the United States but the South has not been a significant focus of study. The purpose of this research is to provide an anthropological perspective on abortion experiences and abortion stigma and to bring the experiences of women to the front of the discussion. Eight qualitative interviews were conducted with women in Georgia who have had abortions. Ultimately, I argue that abortion experiences are unique and varying, and that abortion stigma is prevalent in the lives of the women interviewed.

Research Data and Supplementary Material