Alra's Political Campaign Analysis

1382 Words6 Pages

The timing of legislations introduced regarding abortion influenced the lobbying methods, the resources and the alliance-building capacity of pro-abortion campaigners. In the UK, campaigns for the liberalization of law on abortion began in the 1930s, with legislation being passed in 1967. Thus, in Britain, the first-wave liberal feminists campaigned for abortion, who were mostly middle-class. Feminists in the 1960s emphasized the sisterhood between women and a shared oppression by men (and society), whereas second-wave feminism was more radical in its ideology and emphasized social divisions between women. The latter shaped the birth control debates of the 70s and 80s, and the differing opinions prevented the feminist groups from presenting …show more content…

Before the Act 1967, women’s groups were not involved in the campaigns for abortion, but came out in support of the social aims of making abortion safer and more accessible, rather than on the feminist grounds of giving the control to women over their bodies. ALRA’s supporters were usually left-wing, and included lawyers, physicians and political groups. The abortion campaigner group’s choice of alliances shaped the nature of the political campaign launched, demonstrated by the 1967 campaign for David Steel’s Bill. The campaign focused on MPs, doctors and the public. To get the Bill passed, compromises were necessary that left some reformers feel betrayed, but they were necessary to obtain the approval of the medical profession and the …show more content…

In this sense, abortion is a basic right of women, i.e. to decide when to have children and how many, but is not equivalent to the rejection of motherhood altogether. To have this right, abortion should be available on demand: it is a woman’s right to take control over her body with no restriction. A less radical alternative is abortion on request, when the final decision about a woman having an abortion is in other hands (e.g. the medical profession). However, the explicit expression of these thoughts would not have gained much support for parliamentary legislation. Instead, campaigners utilised the trend of the state showing an increasing interest in the health of the nation and emphasized the health aspect of legalising abortion. Therapeutic abortion was widespread even in the early 20th century and the reasons for having an operation were flexible (as it was ‘available’ to the higher classes). Legally, it constituted procuring a miscarriage to save the mother’s life and preserve her health – a category which could be including social and economic circumstances. The different interpretations of the rule by the medical profession and the ambiguous legal environment around abortion favoured the system of backstreet abortions. These operations were dangerous to “patients” and illegal. Legalizing abortion was promised to reduce the

Open Document