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8 - A Biography of the ‘Great Untouchable’

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 November 2022

Sally Sheldon
Affiliation:
University of Bristol and University of Technology Sydney
Gayle Davis
Affiliation:
University of Edinburgh
Jane O'Neill
Affiliation:
University of Edinburgh
Clare Parker
Affiliation:
University of Adelaide
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Summary

The concluding chapter sets out some of the key themes to emerge from the book. It recalls the influence of the various groups of actors who gave meaning to the Abortion Act, emphasising how the Act was shaped over time in a complex process of negotiation, dispute, revision and consolidation. We locate the Act within the shifting contours of a country undergoing a demographic revolution, exploring how it shaped and was shaped by processes of secularisation, the decline of discursive Christianity and an enhanced role for science in ordering understandings of the world, changing norms of gender, family and disability, shifting ideas of medical authority and changing technologies.

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Chapter
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The Abortion Act 1967
A Biography of a UK Law
, pp. 263 - 284
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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