The book, originally published in 1988, suggests that the inter-war years saw a crucial mapping of boundaries in the debates over abortion. The distinction between methods of fertility control used before and after conception was more sharply drawn. The abortion law was difficult to enforce and in 1936 the Abortion Law Reform Association was founded by feminists to call for safe legal abortion as a woman’s right.
Resort to criminal abortion continued in the post-war years and the number of therapeutic abortions also began to increase. The medical profession’s attempt to create a distinction between worthy medical and spurious social reasons for fertility control gave way in the face of women’s demands for safe and effective means to plan when and if they would have children. After a hard-fought battle, the abortion law was reformed in 1967. The abortion decision, however, remained firmly in the hands of the medical profession.
In this hilarious history, David Hunt reveals the truth of Australia's past, from megafauna to Macquarie - the cock-ups and curiosities, the forgotten eccentrics and Eureka moments that have made us who we are.
Girt introduces forgotten heroes like Mary McLoghlin, transported for the crime of "felony of sock," and Trim the cat, who beat a French monkey to become the first animal to circumnavigate Australia.
It recounts the misfortunes of the escaped Irish convicts who set out to walk from Sydney to China, guided only by a hand-drawn paper compass, and explains the role of the coconut in Australia's only military coup.
Our nation's beginnings are steeped in the strange, the ridiculous and the frankly bizarre. Girt proudly reclaims these stories for all of us.
Not to read it would be un-Australian
"A sneaky, sometimes shocking peek under the dirty rug of Australian history." - John Birmingham
"Hilarious and insightful -- Hunt has found the deep wells of humour in Australia's history." - Chris Taylor, The Chaser