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‘Abortion and the politics of motherhood revisited’


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This paper examines the changing policies surrounding sexual and reproductive rights in the United States. Examining abortion and contraception regulations in the light of health care reform, as well as the rise of ‘conscience clauses’ which permit a wide range of professionals from providing services related to sexual and reproductive health, we examine the continuing ‘politics of motherhood’.

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‘Abortion and the politics of motherhood revisited’

  1. 1. Family Values: Abortion and the Politics of Motherhood Revisited University of Kent June, 2010
  2. 2. <ul><li>Susan Moller Okin </li></ul>Mothers and Potential Mothers
  3. 3. Gender Regimes Sexual Regimes
  4. 4. <ul><li>The Old Order: The World before 1964 </li></ul><ul><li>What Changed? </li></ul><ul><li>The Consequences of the Change </li></ul><ul><li>Abortion and the Politics of [ Marital] Motherhood </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>The Old Order </li></ul>
  6. 7. What The Old Order Looked Like in 1963 <ul><li>Contraception was formally illegal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not displayed in public </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not available over the counter </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Abortion was illegal </li></ul><ul><li>Large majorities of Americans disapproved of premarital sex </li></ul>
  7. 8. What The New Order Looked Like in 1974 <ul><li>Abortion legal and accepted </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mostly on the “soft reasons” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Before Roe v. Wade </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Dramatic changes in % of people who found premarital sex “always wrong” (a decline of almost 20 points) </li></ul><ul><li>Contraception legal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Advertised in public </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Available over the counter </li></ul></ul>
  8. 9. <ul><li>Causes </li></ul>
  9. 10. Technological Change
  10. 11. Ideological Change
  11. 13. Legal Change
  12. 15. <ul><li>Consequences </li></ul>
  13. 16. Dramatic Changes in Women’s Lives
  14. 17. <ul><li>Adapted from Goldin and Katz:On The Pill </li></ul>
  15. 20. Abortion and the Politics of Marital Motherhood
  16. 21. <ul><li>Abortion and the Politics of Motherhood argued that abortion divided women along the lines of the meaning of motherhood. </li></ul>
  17. 22. Advanced Degrees, Again <ul><li>Adapted from Goldin and Katz:On The Pill </li></ul>
  18. 23. <ul><li>What’s New? </li></ul>
  19. 24. <ul><li>It’s not motherhood, it’s MARRIED motherhood </li></ul>
  20. 25. Marriage has become a luxury good
  21. 28. <ul><li>The Second Demographic Revolution </li></ul>
  22. 30. <ul><li>Conclusions and Implications for Policy </li></ul>