The article examines the 2006 struggle over abortion rights in South Dakota in order to consider the circulation of narratives on two distinct, but intersecting scales: first, the use of women’s individual narratives as a rights-gaining strategy; and second, the narratives that reproductive justice scholars and activists have constructed about these movements. The article argues that the case of the South Dakota abortion wars encourages a rethinking of feminist assumptions regarding the political utility of personal narratives, and that the engagement of Native women in this case suggests the need for more complex understandings of the relationship of reproductive justice to reproductive rights frameworks. Scholars often produce these positions as fundamentally different, but, in practice, they often overlap in ways that suggest their deep intertwinement. This analysis adds to critical scholarship on reproduction not only in its focus on aspects of a case that have largely escaped attention, but, more importantly, in its insistence that broader social frames can be understood through a rethinking of the political utility of both personal and movement narratives.


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pp. 1-26
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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