Kateryna Ruban

PhD candidate in History, New York University

Visiting Fellow, Ukraine in European Dialogue
(October – November 2019)


The 1920 Soviet Abortion Decree and Why It Is Important Now

My project explores the history of abortion in the USSR (starting before 1917 and going into the 1980s) through both official policies and a local microhistory, with the ultimate intention of understanding the current politics and public debates concerning abortion not just in the post-Soviet space, but also in the US, Europe, and other parts of the world. I want to show that the 1920 decree that legalized abortions for the first time in the world is still important and the Soviet history of abortion can help understand the current uncertainty over women’s reproductive rights.