Law and Human Rights

Beyond Control
Medical Power and Abortion Law

Product Description

'A welcome injection of energy into feminist thinking on UK abortion law.' Women's Health

‘An excellent text which is essential reading for anyone interested in abortion.’ International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family

Abortion is now recognised as primarily a medical issue, rather than one of political and social importance; its regulation determined by the authority of doctors and other medical professionals. In the first comprehensive historical study of the regulation of abortion, Sally Sheldon examines the causes and effects of the medicalisation of abortion, focusing on the role that law has played in this process. Sheldon traces the history of the modern law on abortion, examining regulation in Britain prior to the 1967 Abortion Act, following with a detailed study of the Act itself and the values which underpin it, and locating the British law in a comparative context. Taking a theoretical approach to the subject, Sheldon draws on the work of Foucault and on feminist theory to challenge common perceptions that the law has evolved to embrace a more permissive stance on abortion and that in so doing Britain, in particular, has now ‘solved’ the ‘abortion problem’.

About The Author

Sally Sheldon lectures in law at Keele University. She has written on abortion law for Social and Legal Studies, Feminist Legal Studies and is a contributor to Law and Body Politics, edited by Bridgeman and Millus (1995).

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