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The Abortion Conflict: War versus Containment. Political Culture in Austria and in the United States

Author / Editor:

Mesner, Maria


Laws concerning abortion have been at the centre of public discussion during the last third of the 20th century in many western democracies. Different from other legal topics being usually left to some experts the abortion-debate transcended the limits of juridical expert circles and went into the public realm ending up as an issue everybody has to take a clear position to. Maria Mesner compares the abortion debate in Austria and the United States and detects that differences in development and outcome of the conflict depend on certain - respectively different and characteristic - institutional and ideological pre-conditions determining political culture, the "grammar" of political discourse, though issue and content of the conflict may be the same.


A revised version was published in: Good, David F. / Wodak, Ruth (eds.), From World War to Waldheim: Culture and Politics in Austria and the United States, Berghahn Books 1999, pp. 187-209


Gender relations
Women`s politics
Women's Movement

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