Manitoba's abortion story : the fight for women's reproductive autonomy : 1969-2005

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Stachiw, Aldean
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This thesis reviews the historical development of abortion services in Winnipeg, Manitoba from 1969 to the present. Using feminist and social movement theory, it tracks how abortion was represented as a political issue, how it was regulated and how different players shaped the development of the current situation. The historical analysis prioritizes the significance of what abortion signalled on all sides of the issue. The thesis is framed by historically shifting periods, in the context of relatively unchanging state, economic and patriarchal power. As a multi-method historical sociological inquiry, it reveals that the major forces promoting abortion access were the women's movement, Dr. Henry Morgentaler and exceptions from among the medical community, politicians and some religious leaders. Those involved in attempts to decrease access were the anti-choice movement (largely made up of women), Joe Borowski, the medical community, religion and political parties. The thesis concludes that women's access to abortion is still precarious, and that women must be sensitized to the importance of abortion rights as a key element of reproductive autonomy.