The im/mobilities of ‘sometimes-migrating’ for abortion: Ireland to Great Britain

Lesley Murray, Nichola Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper furthers the concept of im/mobilities through an investigation of the reproductive mobilities of women migrating for abortion from Ireland (north and south) to Great Britain. Where more often the focus of reproductive mobilities concerns the movement of people and matter in order to reproduce, there is less (although some) attention to movement aligned with the prevention of reproduction. We consider the variegated im/mobilities of conception not brought to birth, in the frictional movement of people, things, ideologies and imaginations in staying with and moving beyond the dichotomy of mobility and immobility. We engage in transdisciplinary dialogue between mobilities and migration studies. Hence, underlying this exploration is the concept of the ‘sometimes-migrant’, used to challenge binary oppositions between mobility and immobility, broader conceptualisations of ‘migrants’ as ‘exceptional’, and more specifically the notion of travelling for abortion as ‘abortion-tourism’. We adopt the call to focus on different incarnations of the ‘sometimes-migrant’ in the form of women travelling temporarily across national borders of intermittent porosity in order to seek care that is not available in their own country. Intersections of migration and mobilities reveal the ways women are im/mobilised through geopolitical and cultural practices at local and global scales.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-172
Number of pages12
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 21 Feb 2020

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Mobilities on 21/02/2020, available online:


  • Mobilities
  • Migration
  • Reproductive
  • Reproductive mobilities
  • migration
  • gendered mobilities
  • some-times migrant


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