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3 - The Parliamentary Battle for Restrictive Reform

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

Chapter 3 explores a series of attempts to restrict the Abortion Act fought between 1974 and 1990. The early attacks were led by men, most of them Tories, and framed in terms of defending family values, personal responsibility and moral standards. We show how the Women’s Movement now claimed and defended the Act, itself being importantly shaped in the process. We describe how, over the course of two decades, the centre ground for debate would gradually shift, with attacks coming to be framed in a language of social justice, civil liberties and scientific advance. The chapter ends when Parliament is finally given the opportunity for a meaningful vote on theAct and uses it to endorse the Act’s broad framework.

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The Abortion Act 1967
A Biography of a UK Law
, pp. 66 - 108
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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