Publicly Funded Abortion and Marginalised People’s Experiences in Catalunya

A Longitudinal, Comparative Study

in Anthropology in Action

Abortion law reforms enacted in Spain in 2010 and extended to Catalunya expanded access to abortion. Simultaneously, the autonomous region was affected by economic crisis and austerity, affecting access to care for migrant and marginalised populations. Mixed-method ethnographic data were collected in relation to low-income and immigrant women seeking abortion in two phases: (1) 2012–2013 and (2) early 2016. Data sources included surveys, interviews and participant observation. Data analysis combined descriptive statistics, modified Grounded Theory, thematic analysis and constant comparative methods. Despite public funding of care in a system ostensibly available to all, marginalised people seeking abortion reported reduced access and more barriers to access. Participant experiences with legal, publicly funded abortion revealed bureaucratic difficulties and delays as well as inconsistent and inadequate information. Data on marginalised people’s experiences demonstrate that even where abortion is legal and ostensibly available, politico-economic contexts and trends affect their access to abortion and public health care.

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Anthropology in Action

Journal for Applied Anthropology in Policy and Practice


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