As abortion restrictions escalate, scholars and activists have struggled to incorporate transgender individuals into their organizing efforts. On one hand, most people recognize that not everyone who needs an abortion identifies as a woman. On the other hand, many are reluctant to abandon or complicate the rallying cry of abortion as a "woman's issue." Caught at a perceived crossroad, stakeholders wonder, "how many transgender people actually get abortions?" in the hopes that this number might guide their social movement strategies. In this assignment, students will use the concept of critical data studies to examine the politics of how we collect and interpret data. Specifically, they will learn about critical data studies from an introductory article in Trans Studies Quarterly, then conduct a case study using two short articles from the journal Contraception that attempt to estimate the number of trans abortion-seekers. This activity engages a number of core topics in feminist theory, including the relationship between knowledge and power, building coalitions across difference, and questions of identity, essentialism, and what constitutes a “woman.”
Siegel, Derek P.
"How Many Trans People Get Abortions? An Introduction to Critical Data Studies,"
Feminist Pedagogy: Vol. 3:
2, Article 16.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/feministpedagogy/vol3/iss2/16