The Racket: How Abortion Became Legal In Australia

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Melbourne Univ. Publishing, Sep 1, 2008 - Social Science - 288 pages

A generation ago in Australia, abortion was a crime. It was also the basis of one of the country's most lucrative and longest-lasting criminal rackets.

The Racket describes the rise and fall of an extraordinary web of influence, which culminated in the landmark ruling that made abortion legal, and a public inquiry that humiliated a powerful government and a glamorous police force. With forensic skill and psychological subtlety, Gideon Haigh brings to life a story of corruption in high places and human suffering in low, of murder, suicide, courtroom drama, political machinations, and of the abortionists themselves: among them a multi-millionaire philanthropist, a communist bush poet, a timid aesthete and a bankrupt slaughterman.

It is the story, too, of Bertram Wainer, abortion's crash-through-or-crash campaigner, and the moral issue he bequeathed which still divides Australians.


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User Review  - Tassin - LibraryThing

An excellent and well-researched account of the history of abortion in Australia. The author focuses on Victoria as the precedent-setting Menhennitt ruling was made in the Victorian Supreme Court in ... Read full review

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Great job. I worked as a receptionist for marchetti. I was there when he performed an abortion. When i refused to accept extra "pay" from him for being privy to the abortion, he never told me when he would do one again. All i Could see were frequent dirty specula. i had to sit with the woman who had the abortion and make sure she wouldn't hemorrhage. He also had several jars with embryos and fetuses that he kept in harsh in a cabinet; they were his trophies. 


The girl is killed and I will be hanged
I wont be alive in the morning
Its not what you say its what we say you say
Boys in a mans world
She was only dangerous at times
The bbbetter man won
I dont think it has anything to do with you
Look here Doctor I might have to arrest you
Didnt you know they were so close to you?
The choice for me

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About the author (2008)

Born in London and based in Melbourne, Gideon Haigh has been a journalist almost thirty years, and written widely on business, sport, both and neither.

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