The Knowledge That Count By Marcia Ellison Analysis

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The Knowledge That Counts. Marcia Ellison, an anthropologist, gives us an insightful and provocative perspective about women and their decisions about motherhood and abortion. She points us to authoritative knowledge, “The knowledge that counts, on the basis of which decisions are made and actions taken.” Ellison studied the influence of authoritative knowledge that had shaped single, white, middle-class women’s unintended pregnancies and childbearing decisions over several decades. Essentially, Ellison found a number of differences in authoritative knowledge between those who choose abortion and those who choose to give birth. She said, “Women who terminated a pregnancy were most influenced by their own personal needs and circumstances, birth mothers' decisions were based on external sources of knowledge, such as their mothers, social workers, and social pressures. In contrast, single mothers based their decisions on instincts and their religious or moral beliefs.” Ellison’s research revealed –not too surprisingly-- that governmental reproductive policies played a role in constraining women’s pregnancy experiences and decisions. She also found that the social stigma connected to unintended pregnancy suggested that “categorizing pregnant women by…show more content…
The mountains to climb to get an abortion can be formidable: state-mandated ultrasounds and waiting periods, not having the money to pay for the procedure or not being a able to make the arrangements to travel some distances to the nearest clinic, and even if a clinic is nearby, having a lot of trouble taking time off work Without any form of health insurance that might cover the cost of an abortion, she would have to come up with the needed funds. Trying to get enough money to pay for an abortion--and do so in a short amount of time--may make having an abortion beyond many women’s

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