The Abortion Act (1967): a Biography

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Hanging lights in a library
Picture by Janko Ferlic

Media and presentations







Project in the Media

  • 19 October 2017, Gayle Davis was interviewed by Clare Diamond for STV
  • 22 October 2017, Gayle Davis wrote for the Sunday Herald on Scotland’s role in the partial decriminalisation of abortion
  • 24 October 2017, Sally Sheldon was interviewed by Lisa Shaw for BBC Radio Newcastle. In this interview, Sally responds to a Woman’s Hour interview recorded in 1964, with a woman who had had an illegal abortion. You can listen to the Woman’s Hour interview here
  • 29 October 2017, Sally Sheldon was interviewed by a number of BBC local radio faith programmes (BBC Radio Norfolk; Humberside; Leicester; Solent; Tees; Coventry and Warwickshire; Stoke; Manchester; Sheffield; Gloucester; Guernsey)

Project Presentations

Members of the research team will be discussing findings at the following events

  • ‘The Biography of an Abortion Law’ (public lecture, University of Flinders, South Australia, 13 February 2020).
  • ‘The Decriminalisation of Abortion in Northern Ireland’ (Reproductive Rights and Liberties workshop, University of Technology, Sydney, 6-7 February 2020).
  • ‘Personal Beliefs in Abortion Services: a Historical View’ (University of Bristol Bioethics Conference, 18 March 2019)
  • ‘Changing understandings of the human fetus over five years of legal abortion’, Generation to Reproduction Seminar Series (Department of History and Philosophy of Science, Cambridge University, 5 March 2019)
  • Centre for the Social History of Health & Healthcare Seminar Series (University of Strathclyde, 3 December 2018)
  • Economic and Social History Seminar Series (University of Glasgow, 29 November 2018)
  • ‘Abortion in the British Isles, France and North America since 1800’ (The University of Paris-Sorbonne, Paris, 6-8 November 2018)
  • ‘Avoiding Motherhood since 1967: the British Abortion Act’ Motherhood and the Law, (Hildesheim University, 13-15th September 2018)
  • ‘How BPAS Influenced 50 Years of Safe Abortion Care’ BPAS: First National Conference (Birmingham, 10th September 2018)
  • ‘Reproductive and Sexual Health Activism, c.1960-present’ (Glasgow Women’s Library, 17-18th July 2018)
  • The 2018 Social History Society Conference (Keele University, 11-13th June 2018)
  • ‘Abortion in Ireland: A transformative moment?’ (University of Edinburgh, 25th May 2018)
  • Abortion Rights Scotland (STUC, Glasgow, 15 May 2018)
  • ‘Doctor’s for Choice UK: How Clinicians can Shape the Future of Abortion Care​’(London, 27 April 2018).
  • ‘A Biography of the Abortion Act (1967)’ (University of Kent, 31 January 2018)
  • The Abortion Act at 50: Still Disputed Ground? (University of Keele 30 November 2017)
  • ‘My Body/My Life’ event (Oxford, 8 November 2017)
  • Beyond the Backstreet, conference (Abortion Rights, London, 28 October 2017)
  • The Abortion Act (1967): a Promise Fulfilled? (London, 24-25 Oct 2017)
  • Excellence in abortion care conference (RSM, London 11 October 2017)
  • Society of Legal Scholars Conference (Dublin, 5-8 September 2017)
  • European Association for the History of Medicine and Health Conference(Bucharest, 30 August – 2 September 2017)
  • 50th Anniversary Public Lecture Series (Glasgow, 24 August 2017)
  • Doctors, Conscience and Abortion Law and Practice (Kent, 29 June 2017)
  • Law and Society Association (Mexico, 20-23 June 2017)
  • College of Arts Postgraduate Conference 2017: “IntersectionsInterdisciplinary Encounters in the Arts and Beyond” (Glasgow, 7-8 June 2017)
  • Policing Pregnancy (Canterbury, 18 May 2017)
  • The Social History of Contemporary Debates: The Fiftieth Anniversary of the Abortion Act 1967 (Leeds, 27 April 2017)
  • Social History Society (London, 4-6 April 2017)
  • TUC Women’s Conference (Glasgow, 29 March 2017)
  • Abortion as a Workplace Issue (West Midlands UCU, Birmingham, 25 March 2017)
  • Staff seminar (Bristol Law School, 22 March 2017)
  • bpas Senior Managers’ Meeting (Warwick, 20 February 2017)
  • Abortion Past Present and Future (Leicester de Montfort University, 5 December 2016)
  • Doing Women’s Legal History (Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, London, 26 October 2016)