This paper will explore the politically and emotionally charged period in Queensland’s abortion law reform history in 1980, under conservative Premier Johannes Bjelke-Petersen. The Pregnancy Termination Control Bill of 1980 exemplified how constructions of bodies and gender were dictated by politics and authority. Examining how the rights of pregnant people and the rights of the foetus are constructed in contemporaneous discussions allows for a deeper understanding of ideas of the politicisation of the body, bodily autonomy, and the moral body that continue to inform abortion policy in Queensland. Debates about abortion inevitably posit the morality of the woman against the autonomy of the woman, while grappling with ideas of when life begins. It is within this gendered sphere that the criminal status of abortion has been deliberated.

Venue

Forgan Smith
Room: 
E303