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  • Eivind Engebretsen

How is medical knowledge mobilized in debates about abortion?

Updated: Dec 25, 2022


I am thrilled that our project “The Medicalisation of Democratic Rights in the Debate about Abortion (MEDRA): The US, Ireland and Argentina” has been selected for funding by UiO:Democracy – a new interdisciplinary initiative at the University of Oslo.


MEDRA explores how medical knowledge is mobilised by various constituencies and integrated into larger debates about democratic rights and equality in the context of abortion. The initial point of departure for the analysis of a range of competing discourses will be key concepts related to medical knowledge and democratic governance, including democracy, rights, freedom, equality, viability, life, privacy, personhood, and autonomy. The analysis will draw on and supplement a large electronic corpus of texts, the Oslo Medical Corpus (OMC), currently being built by the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare Education (SHE). This corpus includes texts of various genres such as legal documents, medical articles and opinion pieces and texts by NGOs and religious and feminist lobby groups.


The project brings together students and scholars of various disciplines at UiO and beyond, including global health, sociology, law, gender and sexuality studies, discourse and narrative analysis, corpus linguistics, digital humanities, cultural history, and the medical humanities.

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