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“We Are the Visible Proof”: Legitimizing Abortion Regret Misinformation through Activists' Experiential Knowledge
Law & Policy  (IF1.432),  Pub Date : 2017-12-27, DOI: 10.1111/lapo.12094
Alesha Doan, Carolina Costa Candal, Steven Sylvester

Since 2010, many of the policies emerging in the states are designed around the idea of “abortion regret;” a scientifically discredited assertion that abortion causes long-term health problems for women. Studies have examined the legal significance of regret claims in case law, and the role scientific misinformation and uncertainty have in the policy process. However, scholars have given less attention to the intersection between abortion regret experiences and misinformation. We address this gap in the literature by examining how antiabortion activists' experiential knowledge continues to reinforce and legitimize misinformation contained in state policies. We explore the process of substantiating abortion regret misinformation by its attachment to activists' experiential expertise. Based on twenty-three interviews with antiabortion activists, we argue that misinformation receives validation through the certainty of experiential knowledge, which activists mobilize around and use as a source of evidence in the policy process. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.