Abortion Under Apartheid: Nationalism, Sexuality, and by Susanne M. Klausen

By Susanne M. Klausen

Abortion less than Apartheid examines the politics of abortion in South Africa in the course of the apartheid period (1948-1990), whilst termination of being pregnant was once criminalized. It analyzes the flourishing clandestine abortion undefined, the prosecution of clinical and "backstreet" abortionists, and the passage in 1975 of the country's first statutory legislations on abortion. Susanne M. Klausen unearths how principles approximately sexuality have been primary to apartheid tradition and exhibits that the authoritarian nationwide occasion govt - alarmed by way of the unfold of "permissiveness" in white society - tried to control white women's reproductive sexuality within the pursuits of retaining white supremacy.

A significant concentration of the e-book is the conflict over abortion that erupted within the past due Nineteen Sixties and early Seventies, while medical professionals and feminists, encouraged through foreign advancements, referred to as for liberalization of the colonial-era universal legislations that criminalized abortion. The circulate for felony reform spurred numerous political, social, and spiritual teams to grapple with the that means of abortion within the context of fixing rules in regards to the conventional relations and women's position inside it. Abortion less than Apartheid demonstrates that every one girls, despite race, have been oppressed lower than apartheid. but, even though the nationwide occasion used to be preoccupied with denying younger, single white girls reproductive keep an eye on, black women and girls bore the brunt of the shortcoming of entry to secure abortion, soreness the results on a surprising scale.

At the guts of the tale are the black and white women and girls who-regardless of hostility from companions, elders, spiritual associations, nationalist events, conservative medical professionals and nurses, or the government-persisted in opting for their very own destinies. even though an exceptional many have been harmed or even died because of being denied secure abortions, many extra succeeded in thwarting rivals of women's correct to manage their skill to endure kids. This publication conveys either the tragic and positive facets in their story.

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Additional resources for Abortion Under Apartheid: Nationalism, Sexuality, and Women's Reproductive Rights in South Africa

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Umabatha Glamour Girl,” Sunday Tribune, July 17, 1972) Gertrude and Dennis Phuthini leave King Edward VIII Hospital, designated for black South Africans, after identifying Iris Phuthini’s body. This is a rare example of white newspaper coverage of a black South African family’s grief and suffering at the loss of a loved one to botched abortion. 47 It was widely known that doctors could not perform abortions on request, but they could legally treat, without fear of repercussion, women presenting at hospitals with symptoms of incomplete or septic abortion.

56 By the beginning of apartheid, the family was of central importance to most coloureds, and therefore family pressures were of greatest significance in shaping attitudes regarding “illegitimate” births (births out of wedlock). 57 Premarital pregnancy was deprecated, with the intensity of family disapproval reflecting economic status: it was considered “an absolute family disaster” among the elite; and a serious transgression in middle-class families, in which parents would often insist the daughter and man responsible for the pregnancy marry.

Similarly, transcripts of trials that occurred in magistrates courts were regularly destroyed several years after the prosecutions. Therefore, legal and medical records provide only brief glimpses into the underground world of clandestine abortion. ”14 Until at least the late nineteenth century, Africans used a vast array of herbal abortifacients to induce miscarriages, and eventually settler women also used them. 16 The great singer Miriam Makeba recalls how she became “sick with worry” when she discovered at age seventeen she was pregnant.

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