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Publication Date: 
December, 2016
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Brief Summary: 

This article traces the changing attitudes toward abortion in Western Europe from the time when abortion was primarily a societal conflict to today, where pregnancy conflicts exist primarily within the woman.


Dealing with pregnancy conflicts has resulted in very different solutions in different eras and different societies. This article provides an overview of the history of the handling of pregnancy conflict in Western Europe. In so doing, it is possible to recognize a line of development in the sense that in early cultures and in the ancient world the relationship to the paternal, secular, and spiritual authorities was at the forefront, while in modern times the pregnancy conflict has become increasingly a conflict within the woman.


Janus, L. (2010). Über Grundlagen und Notwendigkeit der Förderung der Elternkompetenz (About the basis and necessity of support of the competence of parents). In E. Völlmicke, & G. Brudermüller, (Eds.), Familie – ein öffentliches Gut (Family: A public good). Würzburg, Germany: Königshausen and Neumann.

Jütte, R. (1993). Geschichte der Abtreibung (History of abortion). Munich, Germany: C.H. Beck.