Sexual Regimes and Migration Controls: Reproducing the Irish Nation-State in Transnational Contexts

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Sexual Regimes and Migration Controls: Reproducing the Irish Nation-State in Transnational Contexts

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This article examines the ways that state sexual regimes intersect with migration controls to re-make exclusionary nation-states and geopolitical hierarchies among women. I focus on two important Irish Supreme Court rulings: the X case (1992) and the O case (2002), respectively. X was a raped, pregnant, 14-year-old who sought an abortion in Britain. While the Supreme Court ultimately permitted her to procure an abortion, women's right to travel across international borders without government inquiry into their reproductive status came into question. The O case concerned a Nigerian asylum seeker who invoked the fact that she was pregnant in an effort to avoid deportation. The Supreme Court, however, affirmed that she could be deported, despite the Irish Constitution's pledge to protect the 'right to life of the unborn.' Considered together, these cases reveal how overlapping sexual/migration control regimes both reinscribe hierarchies among women based on geopolitical location, and rebound the exclusionary nation-state despite growing transnationalism.

 

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  • Eithne Luibhéid. “Sexual Regimes and Migration Controls: Reproducing the Irish Nation-State in Transnational Contexts,” Feminist Review (special issue on “Sexual Moralities”) No. 83 (Summer 2006), pp.60-78.