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Political Institutions and Abortion Policy

Political Institutions and Abortion Policy

Chapter:
(p.202) Seven Political Institutions and Abortion Policy
Source:
Doctors and Demonstrators
Author(s):
Drew Halfmann
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226313443.003.0007

This book examined the abortion policies of Britain, Canada, and the United States—three countries that shared “secular majoritarian” abortion politics and “gatekeeping” policies during the 1960s but eventually diverged as the United States moved to an “own reasons” policy and “negotiated” abortion politics. During the Long 1960s, Britain, Canada, and the United States all reformed their abortion laws, but the American national reform was more liberal than those in the other countries—allowing abortion on request for women’s own reasons. The British reform allowed abortions only for reasons of health, fetal abnormality, or limited social grounds and only with the approval of two doctors. The Canadian reform was the most restrictive, allowing abortions only for reasons of health and only with the approval of a hospital abortion committee.

Keywords:   abortion policies, Britain, Canada, United States, fetal abnormality, gatekeeping policies, own reasons policy, abortion politics

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