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Replacing the Dead – The Politics of Reproduction in the Postwar Soviet Union - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Replacing the Dead: The Politics of Reproduction in the Postwar Soviet Union

Mie Nakachi


In 1955 the Soviet Union re-legalized abortion on the basis of women’s rights. However, this fact is not widely known. In the absence of a feminist movement, how did the idea of women’s right to abortion emerge in an authoritarian society, more than a decade before it appeared in the West? The answer is found in the history of the Soviet politics of reproduction after World War II, a devastation in which 27 million Soviet soldiers and civilians perished. This enormous loss of predominantly adult males posed a threat to economic recovery. In order to replace the dead, the Soviet Union introduce ... More

Keywords: abortion, USSR, Russia, family, women’s rights, welfare state, reproduction, pronatalism, Khrushchev, demography

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2021 Print ISBN-13: 9780190635138
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2021 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190635138.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Mie Nakachi, author
Associate Professor of Global Studies, Hokusei Gakuen University