The New Politics of Abortion compares the reactions of eight Western political systems to demands for abortion legislation. The abortion issue is not easily integrated into party doctrines and consequently has been marginalized except where effective pressure groups have intervened. Examining the experience of Europe and the US in the last two decades, the contributors draw the surprising conclusion that the effect of abortion legislation has in many respects been minimal. The availability of abortion is ultimately dependent less on the law than on the existence of good medical facilities.
Introduction - Joni Lovenduski and Joyce Outshoorn The New Politics of Abortion The Rules of the Game - Joyce Outshoorn Abortion Politics in the Netherlands Abortion as a Marginal Issue - Alvin Cohan The Use of Peripheral Mechanisms in Britain and the United States Parliament, Pressure Groups, Networks and the Women's Movement - Joni Lovenduski The Politics of Abortion Law Reform in Britain (1967-83) The Politics of Abortion in Ireland - Vicky Randall Abortion Policy in France under Governments of the Right and Left (1973-84) - Janine Mossuz-Lavau Feminism and Abortion Politics in Italy - Lesley Caldwell Abortion in Belgium - Bereng> ere Marques-Pereira Consensus and Conflict on the Political and Institutional Scene The Abortion Issue, Political Cleavage and the Political Agenda in Norway - Jorun Wiik The Marginal Relevance of Legislation Relating to Induced Abortion - Evert Ketting and Philip van Praag