Defining the edge of legal personhood: A history of recent campaigns for recognition of pregnancy loss in two Australian states

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Abstract

This article examines recent events in Australian politics at the center of which were two bills seeking recognition of pregnancy loss. These bills were proposed by socially conservative politicians in the two distinct jurisdictions of South Australia and New South Wales. While both these bills ultimately failed, I argue that their origins and trajectories exposed tensions in the Australian community and highlighted a number of issues. These included the co-option of secular means of redress by those promoting a religious agenda and seeking to Americanize Australian laws pertaining to pregnancy; the role of legislation in legitimizing experiences of loss; and the complexity of the task of pro-choice feminist engagement with expressions of pregnancy loss that seek acknowledgement of the fetus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-142
Number of pages8
JournalWomen's Studies International Forum
Volume69
Early online date2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018

Keywords

  • Australian abortion law
  • Pregnancy loss
  • ‘Jayden's Law’
  • ‘Zoe's Law’

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