Faulkner Bush

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William Arthur Faulkner Bush (known as Faulkner) was the husband of the early pro-abortion activist and medical doctor Alice Bush. He was a school teacher, becoming the headmaster of Avondale Primary School in 1964.

Position on Abortion

Faulkner Bush's views on abortion became liberal earlier than his wife Alice's. He encouraged Alice towards a more liberal, abortion on demand stance which she later adopted[1]. In May 1940 Alice was approached by a potentially pregnant woman who asked Alice to 'do something about it'. Alice refused as it was illegal, but she did state a wish to have been able to offer some real assistance rather than just sympathy. [2]. Faulkner's reply is seen below:

"To the winds with such taboos... In certain cases the principle is admitted. Why not in that case when to not have the child would have eased that woman's life? Sympathy is not enough." [3]

Alice replied stating that 'the principle is only admitted in cases in which the pregnancy is prejudicial to the health of the mother' and also that she believed that the 'unborn child has as much right to live as anyone'.

Faulkner believed that given an exception to the right to life of the unborn child on the basis of a woman's health, abortion could be justified for many further cases. As Alice had stated that the only reason this woman wanted an abortion was because having a child would be very inconvenient, Faulkner's reply can be taken to mean he considered abortion on demand acceptable. Responding to Alice, with the exception mentioned being prejudice against the mother's health, Faulkner wrote:

"I think if such exceptions are admitted, then the principle is established for further cases." [4]


  1. Hercock Fay, Alice, The Making of a Woman Doctor, First Edition, Published 1999, pg 218
  2. Alice to Faulkner, 30th May 1940
  3. Faulkner to Alice, 4th June 1940
  4. Faulkner to Alice, 10th June 1940