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Abortion in post-Communist Germany: the end of muttipolitik and a still birth for feminism

Fisher, Pamela (2005) Abortion in post-Communist Germany: the end of muttipolitik and a still birth for feminism. Women's Studies International Forum, 28 (1). pp. 21-36. ISSN 0277-5395

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Abstract

Abortion proved to be the most emotive issue in the process of unifying Germany post-1989. Attempts to create uniform abortion legislation applicable throughout Germany revealed an ideological chasm that separated the conservative discourse of the west from those on the Left, in particular in eastern Germany. The narratives of former women supporters of the ruling communist regime in East Germany are considered. These women regarded the imposition of more restrictive reproductive laws on eastern Germany in terms of an assault against the moral status of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and, in some cases, as instrumental in quelling an unanticipated upsurge of feminist consciousness that occurred in eastern Germany in 1989 and 1990. The role of the women's experience of East German social policy, in particular Muttipolitik, which emphasised women's dual roles as workers and mothers, is considered in relation to its impact on the interviewees' responses to the abortion debate. It is suggested that the brief burgeoning of feminist consciousness in 1989/1990 was, in part, instigated but also quashed by the dominance of western discourse that required a total rejection of the GDR legacy, including liberal abortion laws

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: UoA 41 (Sociology) © 2005 Elsevier Ltd.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Schools: School of Human and Health Sciences
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Depositing User: Sara Taylor
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2007
Last Modified: 28 Jul 2010 18:21
URI: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/438

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