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Balancing access & agency in Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptive programming: Developing a reproductive justice framework

Marsden Fund, Royal Society of New Zealand (2019 - 2023)
Associate Investigators:
Dr Jade LeGrice (University of Auckland)
Prof Catriona Macleod + Yanela Ndabula
(Critical Studies in Sexualities & Reproduction, Rhodes University)


Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC) is seen as one of the most promising changes for public health and women's rights in the last decade. In Aotearoa New Zealand, people have been very excited about LARC. There has been much effort to increase access and use, mostly focusing on women who are "at risk" (teens, women from ethnic minorities) and those who are on welfare. Amid all this excitement, women's reproductive freedom and their own thoughts on LARC haven't gotten much attention. As a result, the role of power relations and the politics of LARC and reproductive health in Aotearoa are still not well understood. This is a great case study for getting local data, including women's points of view, and for expanding the Reproductive Justice framework. The framework offers a more comprehensive way to think about reproductive health issues and has much potential use in Aotearoa (and beyond!).

In this study, I aim to explore power and agency in the provision of LARC and look at how these insights can contribute to the theoretical development of the reproductive justice framework, both locally and globally. To enhance transnational applicability, the findings of the study are pooled with a sister study in South Africa, run by Yanela Ndabula and Catriona Macleod of Rhodes University's Critical Studies In Sexualities and Reproduction research centre.


This recruitment video provides some background about the project.  

Outputs: non-academic

Project website

Feedback on preliminary findings for research participants and other interested parties.



Brief report for contraceptive providers             Brief report for contraceptive users

Info sheet for contraceptive providers               Pamphlet for contraceptive users          

Academic outputs
Peer-reviewed Journal Articles
  • Morison, T. (2022) Using reproductive justice as a theoretical lens in qualitative research in
    psychology, Qualitative Research in Psychology, DOI: 10.1080/14780887.2022.2121236 [Open Access

  • Morison, T. (2022). Patient-provider power relations in counselling on long-acting reversible contraception: a discursive study of provider perspectives. Culture, Health & Sexuality, Online First. [Open Access]

  • Morison, T. (2021). Reproductive justice: a valuable framework for researching sexual and reproductive issues in social psychology. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 5(15), 1–10.  [Open Access]

Book Chapters
  • Morison, T., Ndabula, Y., & Macleod, C.I. (2022). The contraceptive paradox, contraceptive agency, and reproductive justice: Women’s decision-making about Long-Acting Reversible Contraception. In T. Morison & J.M.J. Mavuso (Eds.), Sexual and Reproductive Justice: From the Margins to the Centre (pp. 227-246). Lexington Press. [Pre-print 

  • Morison, T. (2021) Reproductive justice: Revitalising critical health research. In K. Chamberlain & A. Lyons (eds.) Routledge International Handbook of Critical Issues in Health and Illness (pp. 169-182). Routledge.

Recorded presentations

Keynote address: 

Advancing Reproductive Health, Justice, and Well-Being in Social Research. Social Psychology Days, 15-16 April 2021, Helsinki.

Conference paper:

“You have to be careful of your own agenda”: Discursive dilemmas in healthcare providers’ talk about Contraceptive Care. Paper presented at the International Society for Critical Health Psychology 12th Biennial Conference, 23 -25 Aug 2020.​




Invited talk: The contraceptive paradox, contraceptive agency, & Reproductive Justice: Women’s Decision-making about Long-Acting Reversible Contraception, 14 June 2021, School of Health seminar, Victoria University of Wellington. 

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