PhD candidate Brodie Evans and Senior Lecturer Dr Erin O’Brien from the School of the Justice at QUT have recently published an article in the Journal of Sociology titled “The Cairns abortion trial: Language, deviance and the ‘spoiled identity’.”
Abstract: In 2009 a couple in Cairns were charged, and later found not guilty, of illegally obtaining a medical abortion through the use of medication imported from overseas. The court case reignited the discussions surrounding the illegality and social acceptance of abortion in Queensland, Australia. Based on a discourse analysis of 150 online news media articles covering the Cairns trial, this article critically examines the language and key words relied upon by media when covering the Cairns trial. It argues that, despite popular support for the decriminalisation of abortion, emotive language that aligns with a pro-life ideology is still being employed which has the power to shape perceptions of deviance and stigma surrounding abortion. This is useful to demonstrate how media discourse surrounding abortion needs to further align with a pro-choice ideology for women to be empowered for their choices.
To read the full article, click here.