In the twenty years since the collapse of communism in the Eastern Bloc, various scholars of history, women's studies, sociology, political science, and reproductive rights have studied the occurrence of abortion in these formerly communist countries. Although some have sought to question the notion of "abortion culture," most look to these countries as places where abortion was tragically prevalent and accepted. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the assumed knowledge concerning abortion and how this obscures understandings of abortion in formerly communist countries of Eastern Europe. By creating genealogy of "abortion culture," this research seeks to trace the history of how abortion came to be understood as a moral issue, the power behind these understandings, and the resulting consequences. Throughout history, abortion has been understood many different ways until evolving into the understanding that it is negative, it is a moral issue, it is a medical issue, it should be limited, and should only occur rarely. These taken for granted understandings have shaped how abortion in formerly communist countries have been researched and discussed. Beyond academia, these understandings have resulted in a pairing of communism and abortion designed to discredit both.


William Wagner

Committee Member

Paul Prew

Committee Member

James Dimock

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)


Social and Behavioral Sciences

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License



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