Doctors, Conscience and Abortion Law and Practice

This event, held on 29 June 2017, brought together academics from a range of disciplines, graduate students, providers of abortion services and campaigners, to discuss abortion law and changes in abortion practice. The event was part of dissemination work for a Kent University Faculty of Social Sciences Research Fund Award, given to Ellie Lee and Sally Sheldon, for a project ‘Abortion Doctors, Professional Identity and the Law’.


Dr Ellie Lee

With a backdrop of the 50th Anniversary of the 1967 Abortion Act, and a vote at the British Medical Association Annual Conference two days previously to support the decriminalisation of abortion, participants at the event discussed: the history of the British Abortion Law; research about the motivations and experience of doctors who ‘do’, that is those who provide abortion; and research about those who ‘don’t’, with a focus on conscientious objection.

Participants were particularly privileged, at the start of the event, to hear from Malcolm Potts, a pioneer of abortion provision and law reform in Britain, and from US colleagues Dr Lori Freedman and Professor Wendy Chavkin.

Thanks to Kent Law School and British Pregnancy Advisory Service for their financial support for the event.


More about the event here:


Key Findings Document: ‘Doctors Who Provide Abortion: Their Values and Professional Identity’


Published work by presenters

Potts, M. and Campbell, M. ‘History of Contraception’

Sheldon, S. ‘British Abortion Law’

Greasley, K. ‘Arguments About Abortion’

Bristow, J. ‘The Sociology of Generations’

Freedman, L. (with Weitz and Kimport) ‘The Stratified Legitimacy of Abortions’

Lee, E. ‘Constructing Abortion as a Social Problem’

Lohr, P. (with Fjerstad, De Silva and Lyus) ‘Abortion’

Chavkin, W. (with Swedlow and Fifield) ‘Regulation of Conscientious Objection to Abortion’

Neal, M. (with Fovargue) ‘‘In Good Conscience’: Conscience-based exemptions and proper medical treatment’

Mishtal, J. (with de Zordo and Anton) ‘A Fragmented Landscape’

Furedi, A. ‘The Moral Case for Abortion’