Gouverner les moeurs La lutte contre l’avortement en France, 1890-1950

Press release Published on 07 September 2016

Author : Fabrice Cahen

“Criminal” abortion, a clandestine practice that remained illegal in France until 1975, was the subject of a fierce battle from the late 19th to the mid-20th century that mobilized a multitude of protagonists and substantial private and public resources. The attempt to eradicate this “social evil” was orchestrated by a wide range of actors including the highest state decision-makers. It belongs conjointly to the history of scientific knowledge, political institutions, and activist groups and professionals. The author reconstitutes this complexity, closely following all the actors involved, revealing the vast scope of an enterprise that extended beyond repression. The fight against abortion in France ran up against the reality of a social activity that was in some cases highly organized and that constantly managed to foil the authorities. The book raises the question of the governability of demographic behaviours, providing material for reflecting on the social impact of public policy.

Realeased on : 07/09/2016

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