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Abortion Under ApartheidNationalism, Sexuality, and Women's Reproductive Rights in South Africa$
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Susanne M. Klausen

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199844494

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199844494.001.0001

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“My Uterus Belongs to Me”

“My Uterus Belongs to Me”

The Campaign for Abortion Law Reform

(p.83) Chapter 3 “My Uterus Belongs to Me”
Abortion Under Apartheid

Susanne M. Klausen

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines how clandestine abortion became a political issue in South Africa in the late 1960s. It explores the ways the move into the political spotlight was one dimension of the transnational struggle for accessible abortion and sexual liberation taking place at the time. In South Africa a variety of professional and social organizations were inspired by the passage in numerous countries of relatively liberal laws regulating abortion and sexuality, especially in Great Britain and the United States, and drew from them confidence to press the National Party government for abortion law reform. The feminist group Abortion Reform Action Group (ARAG), headed by June Cope and Dolly Maister, and relatively liberal-minded members of the medical and legal professions, and a variety of churches, were all influenced by events occurring outside Africa. Ultimately the emergence of the campaign for abortion law reform pushed the regime into introducing draft abortion legislation.

Keywords:   Clandestine abortion, Transnationalism, Great Britain, United States, Abortion Reform Action Group (ARAG), June Cope, Dolly Maister, Medical profession, Legal profession, Abortion legislation

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