This is a presentation of the case for
challenging complacency and reconsidering the extent to which
British law has interpreted abortion and constructed a medical
model in such a way as to place the control over access to abortion
services with the medical profession.
Recognizing that abortion has slipped
from the political (and specifically feminist) agenda, at least
in the UK, the author argues that this systematic "medicalization"
of abortion has rendered women powerless.
She acknowledges that "repoliticizing"
abortion - and recognizing how gender affects how power is exercised
over women - creates its own risks and may mean that feminists
face a potentially lethal backlash.
But, she maintains, the failure to do
so could close down avenues of choice and control at a time when
fundamentalist pressures to eliminate abortion are becoming increasingly
This critique of the medical, legal
and political issues surrounding abortion in the UK, reflects
the changes, both insidious and profound, in the range of medical
technologies available (including RU486), in case law, legal theory
and feminist thinking since Keown's 1988 study "Abortion, Doctors
and the Law".
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