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Epidemic played large role in shift of attitudes on abortion, author says
Date:6/25/2010

n the media as "sexually deviant, racially suspect and psychologically sick," Reagan wrote. Magazine and newspaper coverage of abortion associated it with crime, the mob and much-maligned African Americans, Reagan found.

In the wake of German measles, however, the women beginning to talk about their families, anxieties and abortions, and seeking legal change, were far from that mold, Reagan said.

"The early abortion-rights movement began at this time, with this concern for expectant mothers, and for families who appeared to be the perfect, idealized 1950s, 1960s family," she said. "To have the group that was seen as inherently respectable and moral talking about abortion really did change, I think, the picture of abortion from deviant to respectable and thus changed the public discussion."

Editor's note: Reagan also is the author of "When Abortion Was a Crime: Women, Medicine, and Law in the United States, 1867-1973."


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Contact: Craig Chamberlain
cdchambe@illinois.edu
217-333-2894
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Source:Eurekalert

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