We are all feminists now: how to pass an anti-abortion law in Australia

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Gleeson demonstrates how radical feminist arguments about abortion have been co-opted by conservative anti-abortionists to portray abortion as “harmful to women” to secure restrictive anti-abortion laws. Her analysis begins with tactics first developed at the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development and the effects of that strategy on feminist movements. While the authority of radical feminism has been invoked to support political arguments that abortion harms women, parliamentary proponents of liberal feminism ultimately resisted this analysis. “Pro-choice” politicians (and lobbyists) are today ostensibly liberal feminists, and the discursive space for radical feminist critiques of abortion has closed, both in Australia and in the international community. The consequences of the co-option of radical feminism by conservative Christians, and feminist cooperation with the latter, are the focus of this chapter. Research for this chapter was supported by an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant DP0986934. Many thanks to Rebecca Albury, for invaluable advice on this chapter, and to Kate Barnsley, for research assistance.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTranscending borders
Subtitle of host publicationabortion in the past and present
EditorsShannon Stettner, Katrina Ackerman, Kristin Burnett, Travis Hay
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9783319483993
ISBN (Print)9783319483986
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Family Planning Program
  • population policy
  • medical abortion
  • abortion provider
  • abortion policy


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