Lost : Illegal Abortion Stories
In 1967, a young woman came to Dr Bertram Wainer's Melbourne surgery seeking emergency medical attention after a backyard abortion. She was desperately ill yet too afraid to go to hospital. For Wainer, this was the start of a long hard campaign to overturn laws that made abortion an offence punishable by up to 15 years in jail and forced many women to turn to unskilled operators. For five years, Wainer worked against a government that refused to address the problem and bravely tested the abortion law by forcing the issue into the headlines. In 1972, the threat to women's health remained, with abortion apparently legal but not publicly available, and so Dr Bertram Wainer, his wife Jo and two other doctors opened the Fertility Control Clinic in East Melbourne, Australia's first public abortion clinic. In 1985 after over a decade of running the clinic amongst a constant tirade of protestors at their doors, Bertram Wainer placed the following advertisement in the newspapers: ""Abortion Abortion"". Information is sought by Bertram Wainer for a book on abortion in Australia. If you know what it was like from personal experience we want to hear from you. The next generation must know what it was like for woman. You can help by discussing your experience. ring Pippa any work day noon until 3 on 419 2690, or write to her at 116 Wellington Pde., East Melbourne 3002. All Information will be treated as Private & Confidential. This is a unique and extraordinary book, the like of which I have never encountered. The voices in this book are so real and powerful that their stories will stay with you long after you finish reading. For many, their first impression may be that the subject matter will seem shocking but those who venture between the pages will find that there is a unique and raw beauty in the plain and simple way in which their accounts are relayed. You can almost imagine them sitting in that office with Dr Bertram Wainer after answering his newspaper ad, and feeling a sense of release as they tell their stories openly for the first time. One of the most compelling and engaging aspects of the book is the different viewpoints and experiences from which the stories come. These are not just the tales of young girls falling pregnant out of wedlock.
- Paperback | 224 pages
- 128 x 194 x 18mm | 222.26g
- 31 Mar 2008
- Melbourne University Press
- Carlton, Australia
About Jo Wainer
Jo Wainer is Director at the Centre for Gender and Medicine, Monash University and custodian of the transcripts. Her late husband Dr Bertram Wainer was the leading abortion reform doctor who in the 1970s led a long and difficult campaign to overturn the existing abortion laws which led to the Kaye Inquiry into police corruption.