Printer Friendly

Women and abortion: liberal citizenship or patriarchal regulation?

Abstract: Access to abortion procedures remains a constant struggle for women in contemporary Australian society. This is due to conflict between the citizenship rights of women and abortion laws in Australia, where women are placed in positions of limited power when Australian laws prohibit them from accessing abortion services.

How do abortion laws and policies allow women to exercise their rights? The discourse of liberal citizenship states that an individual has the right to make decisions that affect their lives with limited interference from the State. Further, that each individual has civil, social and political rights. Civil rights concern justice and equity before the law. In the case of abortion, the procedure still exists on many of the criminal law statutes around Australia. Women's choices are regulated and prematurely regarded as criminal regardless of their access to legal representation.

A woman's social rights centre on her capacity to make decisions regarding her sexuality and when and if she chooses to have children. Social rights bear the greatest importance for women in allowing for the expression of autonomy and independence. Paradoxically, having choice does not equate with access to services, since women still have to have their choices deemed appropriate by a medical practitioner or a court of law. Political rights centre on a woman's capacity to participate in government. Women have political rights in Australia, however abortion has not been placed on the public voting agenda. As a result women have not had the opportunity to express their views on the issue.

This paper explores the issue of abortion through a liberal feminist lens. The fundamental questions, which will be posed within this paper, are: Why hasn't abortion been placed on the political agenda in Australia? and How can women be accorded citizenship rights yet given no parameters to exercise these rights in relation to abortion?

Abortion: from the past to the present

In 1993, a woman waited in a Western Sydney public hospital for her abortion to be completed three days after her procedure had begun. Medical staff advised this woman that they were not willing to complete her procedure due to grounds of 'conscience' (Holt 1994). This incident is a key example of the debates that surround the policy of abortion in contemporary Australian society. A woman's right to exercise choice through her status as a liberal citizen is in opposition to the medical profession, the law and anti-abortion campaigners (Holt 1994). For the purposes of this paper, an analysis of abortion policies across Australia will be undertaken through a liberal feminist lens (Voet 1999). Emphasis will also be given to the citizenship rights of women that are central to liberal feminist discourse on abortion policies.

To begin with it is essential to outline the theoretical standpoint of liberal feminism and the point from which this analysis on citizenship rights for women will be provided. Liberal feminism is essentially embedded in equality of rights and treatment of women (Voet 1998, 26). In essence, the values and arguments of liberal feminism point to equality for women in each sphere of society, including civil, political and social rights--which are viewed as equal to that of men (Voet 1998, 29). These arguments of liberal feminism are embedded in rights discourse and linked to ideas of agency (Voet 1998, 64). In the following analysis of citizenship and abortion in Australia, the current citizenship rights accorded to individuals within contemporary Australian society will be outlined. Current citizenship rights within Australian society stem from a neo-liberalism perspective (O'Connor, Orloff and Shaver 1999, 49). In essence this means that individuals are accorded civil, political and social rights, most of which are regulated by the State. Abortion is one example of how citizenship rights for women in Australia are regulated by the State (Summers 2004, 231)

Before concentrating on contemporary debates that surround the social policies of abortion, it is essential that a historical gendered analysis of reproduction and women's position in society is discussed. This analysis is essential because it provides the basis for the current debates that surround the choices of women. From the early nineteenth and twentieth century women provided advice and support to one another about how to cease pregnancy (Bacchi 1999). At this time, women's status did not equate with that of men. Women had limited access to finances and no political agency. Hence, any decisions, which they made, needed to be approved by their partners or their fathers. If women did not have either emotional or financial support from others, or the approval of a male, they would have a child that they did not want (Albury 1999).

This historical recital of women's position is resonant of political arguments of the time. Political discourses of this era equated the gender identity of women with that of 'citizen mother' (Mackinnon 1999, 149). Women's bodies were to be taken freely or by force if need be for the 'good of the country'(Mackinnon 1999). Mackinnon (1999) argues that the 'good of the country' was at this time to reproduce white middle class children.

The twentieth century brought forward a focus upon reproduction and women's position in society which centred on the sexual relations between men and women namely, the changing social positioning of women (Summers 2004). The changes in the social positioning of women were attributed to their participation in the labour market and hence the emergence of dual-earner households (O'Connor et al. 1999). Access to income meant that women were active decisionmakers in their choice to bear children. Consequently, it was the choices of women that impacted on levels of reproduction and fertility (Summers 1994).

Contemporary discourses place women at the centre of the decline in fertility rates in Australia (Summers 2004, 229). This decline has been attributed by some demographers to the existence of gender equality (Summers 2004,233). A key question that needs to be asked of demographers that make this assertion is why shouldn't women have the capacity to make choices regarding the conception of children? Depending on what side of the argument is taken, the answer to this question will differ.

Advocates of the anti-abortion stance, such as the Right to Life campaigners, argue that women's rights are selfishly placed before that of an unborn child. Further they argue that human life begins at the point of conception and hence abortion is equated with murder (Joseph 1998). They are adamant that abortion should remain on the criminal law statutes of each State and country, and see that abortion is only valid when pregnancy has been caused through rape or incest (Joseph 1998). The views of anti-abortion advocates can also be echoed in the arguments for the rights of the child. Arguments for the rights of the child centre on the right of every foetus, which is conceived to be born. These rights have been linked by some authors to moral autonomy and the point at which a foetus is accorded personhood (Gibson 2004). Two strands of anti-abortion views are outlined by Gibson (2004). One viewpoint is that the foetus is accorded with a right to life at the point of conception, and the other is that foetal rights to life are accorded at some stage during the pregnancy. Gibson (2004) argues that in according personhood to a foetus at any stage during a pregnancy the notion of abortion then becomes impermissible.

Some of the opposing views of the anti-abortion stance come from liberal feminists (Bacchi 1999). Liberal feminists argue that women's reproductive and body rights belong to women and that they do not need to be regulated by a 'patriarchal system' (Summers 1994). Liberal feminists go further to assert that a woman's right to abortion is a private issue and does not need to be regulated by laws. Liberal feminists consider sexual relations between men and women as a matter for the parties concerned and not for policy or Government intervention (Bacchi 1999). The public / private divide is a key issue regarding the regulation of Government provisions to resources for abortion. This is because Governments can argue that if abortion is a private issue then public revenue does not need to be provided for private provisions (Bacchi 1999).

This rhetoric of the key debates around abortion parallels with abortion policies around Australia. Different policies exist within each State and Territory and there are clear distinctions between the times at which the procedure can occur. In New South Wales, abortions can occur up to twenty weeks into a pregnancy. Queensland and Victoria allow for the procedure up to twenty-four weeks into the pregnancy (Public Health Association Australia 1998). Further, in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria, the criminal statutes have remained to allow abortion to be judged by 'judicial decision'. This means that a court has the capacity to decide whether or not a woman is legally entitled to have an abortion(O'Connor et al. 1999). If she is found not to be entitled then she, as well as her medical practitioner, can be prosecuted (New South Wales Crimes Act 1900). The New South Wales Crimes Act, 1900, states that a woman cannot have an abortion just because she chooses to. It clearly states that a woman needs to be in imminent risk of harm, physical or psychological, or that she has other social or emotional issues, which must be proved in a court of law (NSW Crimes Act 1900).

The Northern Territory, South Australia, and Western Australia allow for abortions to take place up to twenty weeks into a pregnancy (PHAA 1998). These states utilise a 'law reform model' of abortion (O'Connor et al. 1999). This means that it is considered appropriate for a medical practitioner to make the decision if and when an abortion should take place (O'Connor et. al 1999). Under this model, it is evident that women are not given agency as the medical profession vetoes their choices.

Women and citizenship: 'status' or 'practice'?

With the current laws and policies in place to monitor and regulate the choices of women to access abortion it can be questioned whether women are liberal citizens? The discourse of liberal citizenship is inherently a gendered concept (Lister 2003). It is a discourse that implies that both men and women have equal rights by the very notion that the term remains gender neutral. However, in the realm of the public sphere it is evident that citizenship has contested meanings for women. This is partly attributable to the fact that the "admission of women into citizenship has been on male terms" (Lister 2003, p. 4). These areas of contestation for women are centred on both the 'status' and the 'practice' of citizenship rights for women (Lister 2003).

The political ideology of liberalism views citizenship as a 'status', which involves according rights to individuals. In theory, it implies that individuals have the right to make choices that affect their lives with limited interference from the State (O'Connor et al. 1999). The 'practice' of citizenship through the strand of civic republicanism implies that citizenship is an act that makes the individual a 'political actor' in society (Lister 2003, 3). If we turn to an analysis of the citizenship rights accorded to women through both liberalist ideology and that of civic republicanism it becomes evident that clear restrictions exist for women in their capacity to access abortion through both their 'status' and 'practice' of citizenship (Marshall 1950).

Liberalist ideology accords individuals with civil, political and social rights (Marshall 1950). Civil rights centre on justice and equity before the law. It is asserted that each individual has the right to be treated equally in civil or criminal matters before a court of law. In the case of abortion, it is evident that the procedure still exists on many of the Criminal Law Statutes around Australia. Under a judicial model if a woman unlawfully procures an abortion she will be prosecuted (New South Wales Crimes Act 1900). Women's choices to access abortion are regulated and prematurely labelled as criminal regardless of their access to legal representation (Crowley-Smith 1995).

The construction of abortion laws in Australia is attributable to a patriarchal power base that excludes women from participation in the public sphere. This power base was perpetuated at the time of federation in Australia. As a result the laws which allow women's choices to be regarded as criminal do not represent the voices or the concerns of women themselves (Albury 1999). Women are expected to abide by the laws, which are over a century old and do not reflect the social position of women in contemporary society. It can clearly be seen that in relation to a civil rights discourse the 'status' of citizenship accorded to women is tokenistic and does not allow for the full expression of the citizenship rights of women. This is because women have to abide by laws that affect their rights and choices and which women have not participated in constructing (Albury 1999).

Political rights centre on a woman's right to participate in Government through voting as well as her capacity to hold public office (O'Connor et al. 1999). Analysis of the political rights of women from a liberal feminist lens point to the critical issue of participation in the political sphere on behalf of women. Women were not given political agency in Australia until the late nineteenth century. This acquisition of political rights at this time did not apply to all social groups. For example, Aboriginal women were excluded from political agency until 1962 (Seibert and Rosianiec 1998). Despite the efforts made by first wave feminists to increase the political agency of women, abortion laws across all states and territories in Australia had already been enacted. The Criminal Law statutes in Australia date back as early as 1899 and it is evident that at this time women did not have political agency (Queensland Criminal Code 1899).

Comparing the political rights of women to the discourse of liberal citizenship it is evident again that the rights that are accorded to women are a 'status' not a 'practice'. Political rights should ensure that women have the ability to express their views on the issue of abortion. However, since women have been awarded political rights the issue of abortion has not been placed on the political or public voting agenda. In saying this, it should be noted that there has been significant progress in some areas within Australia such as the Australian Capitol Territory, which has withdrawn abortion from the criminal law statute (De Crespigny and Savulescu 2004).

It is also essential to note that Australia ranks well in relation to the number of women in Federal Parliament compared with the international average (Office for Women 2005). Women constitute 26.5% of the Australian Parliament, with 23 female senators and 37 women in the House of Representatives in May 2005 (Office for Women 2005). These figures do indicate the presence of women in some key political positions. However, men still retain a higher profile within the political sphere and hence issues surrounding abortion have not been placed on the political agenda.

Social rights are the third area in which the key debates about the citizenship rights of women and their ability to access abortion is centred. This is because social rights refer to the capacity of women to make choices regarding their sexuality and if and when they choose to have children. Exercising social rights allows women to express their autonomy and independence (O'Connor et al 1999). Social citizenship rights aim to promote inclusion and take into account sexuality, gender and family, as well as participation in the economic, social and public spheres (Handler 2002). For women, these rights bear the greatest importance for the establishment of their individual personhood and a claim to access abortion as a right of this personhood. An important factor regarding a woman's social rights to access abortion is the increased economic participation of women in the labour market. Further, changes in the social positioning of women, include the existence of health care systems through the welfare state to regulate access to abortion, as well as welfare state provisions in the form of parenting payments (O'Connor et al. 1999).

The increase of women's participation in the labour market has resulted in the emergence of dual earner households (O'Connor et al 1999). Nationally, the labour force participation rates of women have increased. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (2001), the amount of income received by women has increased to thirty eight per cent of all income in Australia (ABS 2001). The position of women in the highest income quintiles has also increased to eleven per cent whilst that of males in this income band has decreased (ABS 2001). Some women now earn enough income so that they do not need to rely on the financial support of a male in order to make the choice to have children (Albury 1999). As a result, the social positioning of some women has increased. Although not equal to that of men, it has risen to a point where some women are able to make financial choices that affect their lives (Albury 1999). Despite these increases in income, and social positioning of some women, their choices in accessing abortion are still regulated by the medical profession (Summers 2004).

Current surveys of the medical profession indicate that eighty four per cent of general practitioners support women's access to abortion services (Stopes 2004). Furthermore, general practitioners in this survey also indicated that there are discrepancies and a lack of clarity within current abortion laws (Stopes 2004). In addition, some members of the medical profession have also stated the need for consistent abortion laws across all states within Australia (DeCrespigny and Savulescu 2004).

The existence of the medical profession resides in the health care system that subsidises the procedure of abortion in Australia. The regulation of the Australian health care system with public insurance occurs through Medicare. Medicare has allowed women to access abortion services within public hospitals or private clinics (O'Connor et al 1999). Nationally, approximately eighty thousand abortions are performed in Australia each year (Pratt et al 2005). The Commonwealth Government rebates the cost of abortion at approximately one hundred and thirty five dollars to one hundred and forty five dollars (Dixon 2003). Despite the rebates subsidised by the Commonwealth Government, it does not mean that all women are able to afford the costs of abortion. The fact that women have to pay the full amount and then claim the rebate on Medicare means that the procedure is limited and exclusive to those women who are able to initially afford the full cost (Summers 2004). The need to outlay the full cost of this procedure may place women from non-English speaking backgrounds at risk as they have one of the highest unemployment rates in Australia (Seibert and Rosianiec 1998).

In viewing abortion as a social right of women, the question that needs to be asked is whether there are eighty thousand women who are at risk of harm, either physical or psychological and therefore cannot / should not continue their pregnancy? Conversely, does it mean that these women need to be labelled in this way by the medical profession in order to have their abortion legitimised? Depending on how the issue is viewed the answer to this question will differ. Further as noted above, these are not all the women who could potentially seek abortion if it was an economically viable option.

If there are at least this many women at risk of harm then Government departments and political parties should be asking why is this occurring? Government agencies should be looking at avenues through which they can reduce this risk of harm for women and not simply view the issue as one which relates to the individual choices made by women. Conversely, if women are being labelled at risk of harm in order for medical practitioners to perform their abortions this raises the issue of accountability on behalf of medical practitioners. If medical practitioners feel that the only way to safely perform abortions without being prosecuted is to label women in this way then what is the relevance of these laws?

The issue of accountability on the part of the medical profession was brought to the fore in 1998 when two doctors in Western Australia were charged with procuring an abortion (Healy 1999). This incident led to a sequence of events within the Western Australian Government which included the introduction of bills in the Lower House by Member of Parliament Cheryl Davenport to liberalise abortion laws and remove abortion from the criminal code (Healy 1999). Parliamentary debate over these bills has led to abortion being deemed legal for a woman up to twenty weeks gestation provided that she gives consent, has been counselled, maintains her decision for seven days, and this decision is certified by two doctors (Healy 1999). The West Australian Government has also established a Government committee to respond to requests for an abortion over twenty three weeks gestation (De Crespigny and Suvulescu 2004). The establishment of these amended laws has allowed for clarity for the medical profession in the abortion procedure and a greater level of accountability on the part of Government to legalise abortion services for women. These legislative changes have to some degree promoted the citizenship rights of women to make decisions regarding abortion with limited interference from the state.

The social rights of women are further supported by the existence of welfare state provisions in Australia in the form of parenting payments (O'Connor et. al 1999). If women have children the welfare state in Australia makes a range of financial payments. In Australia, the amount paid to single parents will vary depending on the number of children. A parent with one child is entitled to receive up to four hundred and fifty two dollars per fortnight as parenting payment. This is in addition to the family tax benefit with rates anywhere between one hundred and thirty dollars (Australian) and two hundred and twenty dollars (Commonwealth Guide to Payments, 2006). Further financial support for women also includes the payment of a 'baby bonus' of four thousand dollars per child (Commonwealth Guide to Payments 2006). Some advocates of the anti-abortion stance will argue that these payments are satisfactory for the care of children. However, it has been argued by many liberal feminists that some women endure extreme hardship when they have to rely solely on public provisions for child rearing (Holt 1994).

Are the social rights of women a 'status' or a 'practice'? It appears that through the discourse of liberal citizenship the social rights of women are both a 'status' and a 'practice'. Women do have social rights and this is evidenced by their ability to access abortion services. However, women are not the decision-makers in relation to the 'practice' of abortion. This is a position held by the Government and the medical profession in order to ensure that women are upholding their maternalistic responsibility to society (Summers 1994). In order for women to become active decision-makers in relation to abortion there needs to be reform of the current abortion laws which act as a deterrent to the expression of citizenship rights for women (Crowley- Smith 1995).

Why should abortion laws be abolished?

There are numerous reasons why abortion laws should be abolished. These reasons include promoting access and active citizenship on behalf of women, increasing the capacity of the medical profession to practice without fear of prosecution, and the existence of pharmaceuticals which terminate a pregnancy (Grundmann 1993).

As it stands, the medical procedure of abortion does not allow women to access their full citizenship rights (Lister 2003). Accessing full citizenship rights will mean that women have the opportunity to make decisions regarding their lives with limited interference from the law or from governments which is the basis of liberal citizenship (O'Connor et al. 1999). There is no way that women can have full access to the expression of citizenship rights without the removal of abortion from the criminal law statutes around Australia (Crowley-Smith 1995). This is because women are abiding by laws and policies that they have had no agency in creating. In order for women to have agency, women need to be active in relevant policy development (Albury 1999).

Fear of prosecution should make medical practitioners active in lobbying for Law reform. Medical practitioners can deny women the right to have an abortion if they do not present with risk issues. Paradoxically, those medical practitioners that do perform abortions need to affirm their decisions by relying on laws (New South Wales Crimes Act 1900). This places constraints on the practice of medical practitioners who may believe that women are entitled to have an abortion but cannot satisfy the grounds of risk of harm.

Further evidence to support the decriminalisation of abortion includes the existence of the morning after pill, RU486 and numerous other drugs which terminate a pregnancy (Grundmann 1993). Although some of these pharmaceuticals such as RU486, are not yet approved in Australia a key question needs to be asked. That is how can the act of surgical abortion still remain illegal when the existence of pharmaceuticals allow for the termination of a pregnancy? Is the production of these pharmaceuticals illegal? I would argue that whether women choose to terminate a pregnancy orally or via surgical abortion it is still a choice to terminate that pregnancy and one which should not be sanctioned depending on the method of termination.

Strategies for reform: where to from here?

Abortion is not a new debate in the arena of citizenship for women. The abortion debate has endured for decades in Australia. It will continue unless appropriate measures are taken by Governments to legalise the procedure (Albury 1999). The urgency of legalising abortion procedures is not to stop the moral debates, which surround abortion, but to affirm the citizenship rights of women. Initially, the establishment of laws governing abortion were to protect the health of women and legitimise the procedure in the medical field (Grundmann 1993). The reasoning behind this act of criminalising abortion was to remove the procedure from the 'backyard clinics' of those performing abortions without the use of anaesthetics and sterilised medical equipment (Grundmann 1993). The advent of technology and the ability of this technology to save lives, now means that the risk of harm for women of 'backyard' abortion practices has become minimal (Grundmann 1993).

There are three strategies that can be used to attempt to reform abortion laws in Australia. These are a redefinition of the abortion issue, a political referendum, and lobbying by the medical profession (McDonagh 1996). Efforts to redefine the abortion debate have been made in the United States by viewing the foetus as a cause of pregnancy (McDonagh 1996). This redefinition of abortion is centred on a rights discourse and views the foetus as an agent, which infiltrates the body of a woman. This discourse outlines the effects that this agent (the foetus) will have on the body of a woman. Reshaping of the abortion debate occurs by allowing a woman to choose whether or not she wishes this agent to be active in her body. Hence, a woman has the authority to remove an agent from her body if she chooses to or alternatively let it remain active in her body (McDonagh 1996).

This redefinition of abortion and a woman's right to choose is linked to liberal ideology to the extent that it allows women to exercise choice with limited interference from the State (O'Connor et al. 1999). Hence, laws in this redefinition do not limit the choices of women but are modified through a rights discourse as a way to affirm women's ability to choose. Laws in this instance are reformed by viewing the foetus as a violator of the body of a woman. By viewing the abortion debate in this way, laws are utilised to protect the bodies of women and not the violating agent the foetus (McDonagh 1996).

Redefining the debate from the view of a rights discourse mentioned above could only occur if political measures are taken in the public sphere. These political measures include calling for a referendum on the issue in Australia to allow women the opportunity to have their views on abortion heard. Public support for abortion can be evidenced by a poll held by the Weekend Australian which outlined 50 per cent of participants believed that abortion should be allowed to any woman on demand (The Weekend Australian 1996). In February 2006 the political debate on abortion had come to the fore with the Liberal Senate members passing a Bill to delegate the approval of certain drugs to public servants. This Bill was passed in response to the abortion pill RU486 (Farr and Rehn 2006).

In taking this political debate further, the medical profession could also lobby alongside women to place the abortion issue on the political agenda (Summers 1994). Some members of the medical profession are appalled by the fact that abortion remains a crime in Australia (Grundmann 1993). These medical practitioners could lobby through the Australian Medical Association in order to have their views as well as those of women placed on the political agenda (Grundmann 1993). This could allow medical practitioners who perform abortions to voice their concerns regarding the impact of Criminal Law and prosecution on their practice.


Women are accorded with citizenship rights in Australia. However, it is evident that these citizenship rights are constrained when women attempt to exercise their rights in accessing abortion services. These constraints stem from current Australian abortion laws, which are outdated and have been unchallenged in the Australian political sphere.

Various strategies for change such as redefining the abortion debate, political activism and advocacy by the medical profession have been raised as avenues to reshaping abortion as a legitimate right of women. The changes that need to occur are on a global scale and require shifts in the ideology of contemporary political leaders and those in positions of power. It is not enough for Governments to accord women with the 'status' of citizenship when no efforts are being made to allow women to 'practice' their citizenship rights. The only way that this practice of citizenship rights for women can occur is through the removal of abortion from the Criminal Law Statutes around Australia. Australian Governments should ask themselves whether any other crime that exists on Criminal Law Statutes is eligible for a Medicare rebate.


Albury, R. (1999). 'The Cultural Construction of Women's Bodies', in The Politics of Reproduction: Beyond the Slogans, Allen and Unwin, St Leonards, Chapters Two and Five.

Australian Bureau of Statistics, (2001). Australian Social Trends: Income and Expenditure- Income Distribution : Women's Incomes. Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra.

Australian Government. (2006). Guide to Government Payments. Issue One, January, Canberra.

Bacchi, C. (1999). Abortion: Whose Right? , Women, Policy and Politics, The Construction of Policy Problems, Sage , London, Chapter Eight.

Crowley-Smith, L. (1995). 'Abortion Law in Australia: A Time for Change?' Paper presented at, 50th Anniversary Conference, Australasian Law Teacher's Association, Cross Currents: Internationalism, National Identity and Law.

De Crespigny, L. J. and Savulescu, J. (2004). 'Abortion: A Time to Clarify Australia's Confusing Laws', Medical Journal of Australia, 181(4), 201-203.

Dixon, N. (2003). Abortion Law Reform: An Overview of Current Issues. Queensland Parliamentary Library, Queensland.

Farr, M. and Rehn , A. (2006). 'Abbott's Fury over Senate Rebellion', The Daily Telegraph, 10th February 2006, p 6.

Gibson, S. (2004). 'The Problem of Abortion: Essentially Contested Concepts and Moral Autonomy', Bioethics Journal ,Vol. 18, Number 3, pp. 221-233.

Grundmann, D. (1993). Abortion and the Law: A 25-Year Personal Perspective. National Abortion Federation of Australia, Queensland.

Handler, J. (2002). 'Social Citizenship and Workfare in the United States and Western Europe: From Status to Contract', Paper Presented at the Ninth International Congress , Geneva.

Healy, J. (1999). The Abortion Debate, Issues in Society, Vol. 119, The Spinney Press: Sydney.

Holt, C. (1994). 'Abortion: A Woman's Right to Choose: The Case for Repeal'. Paper presented at Network of Women Students in Australia (NOWSA) conference, Adelaide, July, 1992.

Joseph, R. (1998). 'Abortion: Where Population Policy and Women's Health Policy Meet', APJ May, 1998 Monitor Vol. 4. No. 4.

Lister, R. (2003). 'Feminist Theory and Practice of Citizenship', Paper Presented at the Annual Conference of the German Political Science Association, Mainz, September.

Mackinnon, A. (1999). 'Redesigning the Population: Narratives of Sex and Race', in Gender and Institutions, Welfare, Work and Citizenship, M. Gatens and A.Mackinnon (eds.), Chapter Nine, Cambridge University Press : Cambridge.

Marie Stopes International (2004, 14 November). "News: 84% of GPs support access to abortion for all women". Media release, available at:

Marshall, T. (1950). Citizenship and Social Class and Other Essays, CUP, Cambridge.

McDonagh, E. (1996). Breaking the Abortion Deadlock: From Choice to Consent, Oxford University Press, USA.

New South Wales Crimes Act (1900).

NSW Department of Family and Community Services. (2005). Women in Australia: Milestones- 1984 - 2005, Office for Women, Australian Government Canberra.

Northern Territory Criminal Code (1983).

O'Connor, J., Orloff, A. and Shaver, S. (1999). "Body Rights, Social Rights and Reproductive Choice", in States, Markets, Families: Gender, Liberalism and Social Policy in Australia, Canada, Great Britain and the United States, CUP, Cambridge.

Pratt, A., Biggs, A and Buckmaster.L. (2005), How many abortions are there in Australia? A discussion of abortion statistics, their limitations and options for improved statistical collation, Research Brief no: 9. Parliament of Australia, Canberra.

Public Health Association of Australia, (1998), The Regulation of Abortion in Australia: Public Health Perspectives, Second Edition, Public Health Association, Australia.

Seibert, A and Rosianiec, D. (1998). Women, Power and The Public Sphere, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Canberra.

South Australia Criminal Law Consolidation Act (1935).

Summers, A. (1994). Damned Whores and God's Police, Penguin Books, Victoria.

Summers, A. (2004). The End of Equality: Work, Babies and Women's Choices 21st Century Australia, Random House Australia, Sydney

The Weekend Australian, (1996). 'When Should Abortion be Allowed?' cited in J. Healy (1999), p. 17, The Abortion Debate, Issues in Society. Vol. 119, p. 5, The Spinney Press, Sydney

Queensland Criminal Code (1899).

Victorian Crimes Act (1957).

Voet, R. (1998). Feminism and Citizenship, Sage Publications, London.

Beti Poposka, social worker, has worked with individuals, young people and families in the area of counselling for 5 years. The author may be contacted via the editors.
COPYRIGHT 2006 Women in Welfare Education Collective
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2006 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Poposka, Beti
Publication:Women in Welfare Education
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Nov 1, 2006
Previous Article:The social construction of identity through the life course: a study on the cultural themes in the narrative of Chinese women experiencing marital...
Next Article:Lesbians and domestic violence: stories of seeking support.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters