Using open-access primary sources available online, this activity teaches abortion as an unstable category through a specific case study, early twentieth-century Brazil. The one-week module, although specific to one geographic region and chronological period, can serve as a lesson plan for undergraduate history courses, for disciplines that use genealogy methods, and for interdisciplinary courses. The lesson plan helps undergraduates think critically about what we think we know about abortion, and how our current understandings are not fixed but rather contingent on the society in which we live and on who is practicing abortion. Changing understandings of what constitutes an abortion – from medical, legal, and moral standpoints – further influence who can access the procedure and who is penalized for doing so. Thus, the lesson employs an intersectional approach toward the history of abortion by emphasizing how changing knowledge affects the embodied histories of women in different ways.
"Teaching Abortion as a Historical Construct: The Case of Early Twentieth-Century Brazil and Beyond,"
Feminist Pedagogy: Vol. 3:
2, Article 9.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/feministpedagogy/vol3/iss2/9
Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Commons, History of Gender Commons, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine Commons, Latin American History Commons, Latin American Studies Commons, Women's History Commons