Abortion, politics and medicine in Sweden 1938 - 1965


The Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences

Project type


The aim of the project is to analyze politics and medical theory as well as practice related to abortion in Sweden 1938 - 1965. During the period, women´s access to legal abortion increased, in particular from 1946 when a socio-medical indication was added to the law. In the 1950´s though, access seems to have decreased; the numbers of legal abortions were halved. Abortion was an issue of conflict between gynecologists and psychiatrists, and the impact of psychiatry grew. In the project, ideas and beliefs on women and women's role in family and society will be discussed. The aim is to provide new knowledge and perspectives on the history of abortion, the history of gynecology and psychiatry and of the social policy of the Swedish welfare state.

Research area / geographic area

Historical and Contemporary Studies History of Ideas History Sweden

Project time

2014 — 2017


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