Women's Movements, the State, and the Struggle for Abortion Rights: Comparing Spain and Portugal in Times of Democratic Expansion (1974--1988).

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ProQuest, 2007 - 329 pages
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The formal transition to democracy in Spain and Portugal was followed by a decade of democratic expansion in which various groups struggled to participate and find representation. In both countries, the women's movement actively engaged in this process. They made claims for several issues, one of which was abortion rights. Informed by comparative and narrative approaches, this project aims at explaining why the women's movements produced very distinct outcomes in abortion rights policies and services, despite the similar conditions found in the two countries. I argue that a longitudinal analysis of the interactions between social movements, the state, and political parties is more adequate to analyze the process of democratic expansion because such an approach is able to include and focus on the groups to whom democracy is being extended. Using historical research and interviews, this research seeks to explain the differences in outcomes regarding reproductive rights' service-provision, legislation, implementation and discourse. These interrelated arenas speak respectively to the participation, representation, and impact of women's movements in public life. Namely in the way they impact the community (through service-provision), in policy (through gaining access and reaching favorable outcomes), and in the media (through placing their preferred frames in the public debate). I conclude that through the work of Spanish women's organizations at the community level, these organizations had a significant impact in terms of gaining organizational strength, visibility, and political legitimacy for the women's movement. But movements from below also need allies in legislative decision-making and implementation processes, or otherwise policy achievements may remain symbolic and fail to produce effective social change (as in Portugal). Furthermore, the analysis of these two cases highlights the need for a re-conceptualization of a 'woman's right to choose' to expand beyond abortion laws and abortion talk, and to include policy outcomes in practice. Finally, I also outline some new avenues for policy, social movement organizing, and research.
  

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Contents

Introduction and theoretical framework
1
Methodological details
39
Iberian democratization and womens organizations
54
The construction of abortion claimmaking during the Spanish and Portuguese
75
The struggle for abortion policyformation and implementation in Spain
136
The struggle for abortion policyformation and implementation in Portugal
202
Concluding comments
239
Notes
249
High incidence speeches on the floor Spain 1985
284
References to specific types of rights Spain 1985
285
General election results June 22 1986 Spain
286
Instances of specific words Spain 1987
287
References to specific types of rights Spain 1987
288
B Detailed tables Portugal
289
Totals for low incidence years Portugal
291
Instances of specific words Portugal 1982
292

A Detailed tables Spain
274
High incidence speeches on the floor Spain 1983
280
Abortion in Parliament and in the media Spain
281
Instances of specific words Spain 1983
282
References to specific types of rights Spain 1983
283
References to specific types of rights Portugal 1982
293
High incidence speeches on the floor Portugal 1984
294
References to specific types of rights Portugal 1984
295
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