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Doctors and DemonstratorsHow Political Institutions Shape Abortion Law in the United States, Britain, and Canada$
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Drew Halfmann

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780226313429

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226313443.001.0001

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Political Institutions and Abortion Policy

Political Institutions and Abortion Policy

(p.202) Seven Political Institutions and Abortion Policy
Doctors and Demonstrators

Drew Halfmann

University of Chicago Press

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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