||Abortion is a dilemma that women may encounter. The perceptions towards abortion are likely to be shaped by women’s marital statues. Since the 1960s,|
feminists claim that women should own the right to their bodies, with a particular emphsis on pregnant women and their decisions to have abortion. By saying this, however, there are still pressing structural constraints that regulate women’s bodies and their entitlement for such right. This research is therefore to investigate Taiwanese women’s experiences with abortion, revealing social constraints and cultural
cohesions, which determine women’s experiences with abortion.
In the context of Taiwan, unmarried women with pregnancy are still considered as “deviants”. Little research has been conducted in order to explore women’s experiences with abortion. In order to contribute such research gap, this study wants to look at (1) how marital status might influence women’s attitudes towards abortion, (2) how women’s marital statuses may contribute to their decisions for abortions (3) how abortions might affect women’s lived experiences? By examining these three questions, this research tried to explore women’s autonomy through their own rights to bodies and abortions. It is suggested that regardless their marital statuses, women rarely own their bodies and the right for abortion. Fertility freedom is a basic human right grounded to women. Yet, in order to obtain such right, women have to constantly battle against husbands and their families, medical authorities, and even the
state. Unmarried women with pregnancy, rather than their male partners, are still stigmatized and morally condemned .
In addition, research in abortion rarely addresses how men perceive such experience. This is nevertheless important. In particular, by comparing men’s and women’s accounts for abortion, we can understand how gendered inequalities and gendered stratifications are operationalized through patriarchal values. Rather than women themselves, their male partners often make the final decision on abortion. In
saying this, yet, this research also explores how ‘being a responsible man’ becomes a mainstream gendered language for these men to appropriate in order to construct their masculinity.