The Abortion Act (1967): a Biography

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Project Publications

Gayle Davis, Jane O’Neill, Clare Parker and Sally Sheldon, The Abortion Act 1967: a Biography of a UK Law (under contract, Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2021).

Gayle Davis, Jane O’Neill, Clare Parker and Sally Sheldon (2019) Too Much, too Indigestible, too Fast? The Decades of Struggle for Abortion Law Reform in Northern Ireland. Modern Law Review.

Gayle Davis, Jane O’Neill, Clare Parker & Sally Sheldon, ‘All aboard the Abortion Express: A historical geography of the 1967 Abortion Act.‘ in C Sethna & G Davis (eds), Abortion Across Borders: Transnational Travel and Access to Abortion Services. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019.

Sally Sheldon, Gayle Davis, Jane O’Neill and Clare Parker, ‘The Abortion Act 1967: a Biography’ Legal Studies , 2018.

Jane O’Neill, ‘Abortion Games’: The Negotiation of Termination Decisions in post-1967 Britain, History (Special Issue, Doctors and Persuasion, 2018).

Related publications by the same researchers

Gayle Davis with Roger Davidson (2012), The Sexual State: Sexuality and Scottish Governance, 1950-80 (Edinburgh University Press; paperback released 2014).

Gayle Davis (2013), ‘Concluding Thoughts: Abortion, Reproductive “Health” and the History of Female Sexuality’, Women’s History Magazine, 73, 38-40.

Gayle Davis (2013), ‘Test Tubes and Turpitude: Medical Responses to the Infertile Patient in Mid-Twentieth-Century Scotland’, in Janet Greenlees and Linda Bryder (eds), Western Maternity and Medicine, 1880-1990 (Pickering and Chatto), 113-127.

Gayle Davis (2011), ‘Health and Sexuality’, in Mark Jackson (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the History of Medicine (Oxford University Press), 503-523.

Gayle Davis (2009), ‘Stillbirth Registration and Perceptions of Infant Death, 1900-60: The Scottish Case in National Context’, Economic History Review, 62:3, 629-654.

Gayle Davis (2009), ‘The Medical Community and Abortion Law Reform: Scotland in National Context, c.1960-80’, in Imogen Goold and Catherine Kelly (eds), Lawyers’ Medicine: The Legislature, The Courts and Medical Practice, 1760-2000 (Berg), 143-165.

Gayle Davis with Roger Davidson (2006), ‘”The Fifth Freedom” or “Hideous Atheistic Expediency”: The Medical Community and Abortion Law Reform in Scotland, c.1960-75’, Medical History, 50:1, 29-48.

Gayle Davis with Roger Davidson (2005), ‘”Big White Chief”, “Pontius Pilate” and the “Plumber”: The Impact of the 1967 Abortion Act on the Scottish Medical Community, c.1967-80’, Social History of Medicine, 18:2, 283-306.

Clare Parker (2014) ‘A Parliament’s Right to Choose: Abortion Law Reform in South Australia’, History Australia, vol.11 no.2, pp.60-79.

Clare Parker (2013) ‘Female Complaints and Certain Events: Silencing Abortion Discourse’, Lilith, no.19, pp.33-47.

Clare Parker (2012) ‘From Immorality to Public Health: Thalidomide and the Debate for Legal Abortion in Australia’, Social History of Medicine, vol.25 no.4, pp.863-80.

Clare Parker and Paul Sendziuk (2011) ‘It’s Time: The Duncan Case and the Decriminalisation of Homosexual Acts in South Australia, 1972’, in Yorick Smaal & Graham Willett (eds), Out Here: Gay and Lesbian Perspectives VI, Melbourne: Monash University Publishing, pp.17-35.

Sally Sheldon (2016) ‘British Abortion Law: Speaking from the Past to Govern the Future’ 79(2) Modern Law Review 283-316.

Sally Sheldon (2015) ‘The regulatory cliff edge between contraception and abortion: the legal and moral significance of implantation’ Journal of Medical Ethics Online first. [Open Access]

Sally Sheldon (2015) ‘The Decriminalisation of Abortion: an Argument for Modernisation’ Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, online first:

S Sheldon (2014) ‘The Medical Framework and Early Medical Abortion in the U.K.: How Can a State Control Swallowing?’ in R Cook, J Erdman, and B Dickens (eds) Abortion Law in Transnational Perspective Cases and Controversies (University of Pennsylvania Press), pp189-209

Sheldon (2016), ‘El Marco de Referencia Médico y el Aborto Medicamentoso Temprano en el Reino Unido: ¿Cómo Puede un Estado Ejercer Control sobre la Ingesta de una Píldora?’ in Cook et al ‘Abortion Law in Transnational Perspective: Cases and Controversies (Spanish edition).

S Sheldon (1997) Beyond Control: Medical Power and Abortion Law (London: Pluto) (213 pp).