In 2011, Parliament debated an amendment to the government's Health and Social Care Bill which would have mandated that abortion counselling be provided by independent organisations. While many attacked the amendment as anti-feminist, its principal sponsor, Nadine Dorries, claimed to be acting on behalf of women. This article argues that a historical approach may be fruitfully utilised in order to make sense of such conflicting ‘feminist’ claims. Through analysis of parliamentary debates, it demonstrates that when historical and discursive context is taken into account, the Dorries amendment can be viewed as part of a broader attack on the foundations of the 1967 Abortion Act. This historical approach also allows the contributions of pro-choice women representatives to be criticised as problematic attempts to reconcile a feminist abortion politics with the status quo.
|Number of pages||17|
|Journal||British Journal of Politics and International Relations|
|Early online date||16 Jun 2014|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Nov 2015|