The Bad Mother: Stigma, Abortion and Surrogacy

J Law Med Ethics. 2015 Summer;43(2):179-91. doi: 10.1111/jlme.12231.


Stigma taints individuals with a spoiled identity and loss of status or discrimination. This article is the first to examine the stigma attached to abortion and surrogacy and consider how law may stigmatize women for failing to conform to social expectations about maternal roles. Courts should consider evidence of stigma when evaluating laws regulating abortion or surrogacy to determine whether these laws are based on impermissible gender stereotyping.

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Induced*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mothers
  • Pregnancy
  • Social Stigma*
  • Stereotyping
  • Surrogate Mothers*