Rachael Johnstone

Email: regjohns@dal.ca
Phone: (902) 494-4587
Fax: (902) 494-3825
Mailing Address: 
Department of Political Science, Room 301, 3rd Floor, Henry Hicks Building, Dalhousie University, 6283 Alumni Crescent, PO Box 15000 Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
Research Topics:
  • Canadian politics and public policy
  • Gender and politics
  • The politics of reproduction
  • Law and politics


  • Ph.D., Queen’s University
  • M.A., University of New Brunswick
  • B.A., Dalhousie University


Rachael Johnstone joined the Department of Political Science at Dalhousie in 2021. Her research explores intersections between Canadian politics, public policy, and law. To date, her work has focused predominantly on reproductive rights, exploring the ways they have been shaped through federalism, the Charter, public policy, and social movement activity. This work includes a book, After Morgentaler: The Politics of Abortion in Canada, published by UBC Press in the fall of 2017, which investigates the political, legal, medical, and social regulation of abortion following the landmark R. v. Morgentaler decision (1988) that decriminalized abortion in Canada. Her research has also appeared in a variety of leading journals, including Canadian Public Administration, the Canadian Journal of Women and the Law, and the Journal of Canadian Studies. Before joining the Department, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Waterloo and an Assistant Professor at Queen’s University’s Bader International Study Centre in the United Kingdom.

Website: http://rachaeljohnstone.ca

Selected Publications:


Johnstone, Rachael. 2017. After Morgentaler: The Politics of Abortion in Canada. Vancouver: UBC Press.

Journal Articles

Johnstone, Rachael, and Bessma Momani. 2022. “Gender mainstreaming in the Canadian Armed Forces and the Department of National Defence: Lessons on the implementation of Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+).” Armed Forces and Society 48(2): 247-273.

Macfarlane, Emmett, and Rachael Johnstone. 2021. “Equality Rights, Abortion Access, and New Brunswick’s Regulation 84-20.” University of New Brunswick Law Journal 72: 302-324.

Johnstone, Rachael. 2020. “How Much is that Gamete in the Window? Embryos, policy, and the law.” The Canadian Journal of Women and the Law 32(1): 140-161.

Johnstone, Rachael, and Bessma Momani. 2019. “Organizational Change in Canadian Public Institutions: The Implementation of GBA+ in DND/CAF.” Canadian Public Administration 62(3): 500-519.

Johnstone, Rachael. 2018. “Explaining Abortion Policy Developments in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.” Journal of Canadian Studies 52(3).

Johnstone, Rachael, and Emmett Macfarlane.  2015. “Public Policy, Rights and Abortion Access in Canada.” International Journal of Canadian Studies 51: 97-120.

Johnstone, Rachael. 2014. “The Politics of Abortion in New Brunswick.” Atlantis: Critical Studies in Gender, Culture & Society 36(2): 73-87.

Book Chapters

Johnstone, Rachael. 2020. “Is that really necessary?: The Regulation of Abortion in Canada and the Framework of Medical Necessity.” In No Place for the State: The Origins and Legacies of the 1969 Omnibus Bill, edited by Christopher Dummit and Christabelle Sethna, 259-280. Vancouver: UBC Press.

Johnstone, Rachael. 2018. “Canadian Abortion Policy.” In Policy Change, Courts, and the Constitution, edited by Emmett Macfarlane, 336-355. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Johnstone, Rachael. 2017. “Between a Woman and Her Doctor?: The Medicalization of Abortion Politics in Canada.” In Abortion: History, Politics, and Reproductive Justice after Morgentaler, edited by Shannon Stettner, Kristin Burnett, and Travis Hay, 217-238. Vancouver: UBC Press.