The Racket: How Abortion Became Legal in Australia

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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.