The Abortion Act 1967: A Biography of a UK Law

Sally Sheldon, Gayle Davis, Jane O'Neill, Clare Parker

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Abstract / Description of output

The Abortion Act 1967 may be the most contested law in UK history, sitting on a fault line between the shifting tectonic plates of a rapidly transforming society. While it has survived repeated calls for its reform, with its text barely altered for over five decades, women's experiences of accessing abortion services under it have evolved considerably. Drawing on extensive archival research and interviews, this book explores how the Abortion Act was given meaning by a diverse cast of actors including women seeking access to services, doctors and service providers, campaigners, judges, lawyers, and policy makers. By adopting an innovative biographical approach to the law, the book shows that the Abortion Act is a 'living law'. Using this historically grounded socio-legal approach, this enlightening book demonstrates how the Abortion Act both shaped and was shaped by a constantly changing society.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages358
ISBN (Electronic)9781108677295
ISBN (Print)9781108496384
Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2022

Publication series

NameLaw in Context
PublisherCambridge University Press


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