A queer phenomenological approach towards Filipino women’s digital and embodied encounters during abortion

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The total criminalization and pervasive stigmatization of abortion in the Philippines constrain women’s reproductive agency. Furthermore, the intensification of regulatory biopolitical mechanisms during the COVID-19 pandemic also delimits women’s reproductive actions and decisions. Using a queer phenomenological approach drawn from Sara Ahmed’s theorization, this study analyzes 14 abortion testimonies as shared by 14 women in digital spaces during the pandemic. In the findings, I map Filipino women’s embodied encounters during abortion alongside a complex interplay between digital and physical spaces. Here, I highlight the following processes: 1) accessing the digital abortion marketplace, 2) queering everyday spaces into makeshift abortion places, 3) embodying affinities in the digital abortion community, and 4) claiming collective resistance through abortion testimonies. This study discusses empirical and theoretical insights towards women’s embodied precarities and forms of resistance during abortion and in relation to structural violence. I then propose future directions for abortion research in the Philippines, where I also aim to make practical contributions towards advancing reproductive justice.