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Beyond Pro-life and Pro-choiceThe Changing Politics of Abortion in Britain$
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Fran Amery

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781529204995

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781529204995.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM POLICY PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.policypress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Policy Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PPSO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

Backlash and Appropriation

Backlash and Appropriation

Chapter:
(p.95) 5 Backlash and Appropriation
Source:
Beyond Pro-life and Pro-choice
Author(s):

Fran Amery

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781529204995.003.0005

This chapter assesses abortion debates in the 1980s and 1990s. By this point, anti-abortion actors were attempting to solve their PR problem by mimicking their opponents’ arguments, moving away from a conservative emphasis on morality and vice, and towards an appropriation of the liberal-paternalist and feminist arguments that had been put forward in support of legal abortion. This was done by adopting seemingly feminist language in talking about medical power, exploitation and women’s rights. Pro-choice and feminist actors, on the other hand, typically avoided challenging the logics underpinning the Abortion Act. Few alternatives to the current, highly medicalised system of abortion provision were proffered; rather, pro-choice actors were forced into a reactive position defending the Abortion Act from anti-abortion attacks.

Keywords:   Abortion Act 1967, Parliament, Feminism, Liberal paternalism, Pro-choice, Anti-abortion

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