Attitudes to Abortion in the Era of Reform: Evidence From the Abortion Law Reform Association Correspondence
Jones, Emma L
Women's history review 2011; 20(2): 283-98
This article examines letters sent by members of the general public to the Abortion Law Reform Association (ALRA) in the decade immediately before the 1967 Abortion Act. It shows how a voluntary organisation, in their aim of supporting a specific cause of unclear legality, called forth correspondence from those in need. In detailing the personal predicaments of those facing an unwanted pregnancy, this body of correspondence was readily deployed by ALRA in their efforts to mobilise support for abortion law reform, thus exercising a political function. A close examination of the content of the letters and the epistolary strategies adopted by their writers reveals that as much as they were a lobbying tool for changes in abortion law, these letters were discursively shaped by debates surrounding that very reform.
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