Joanne Richdale

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Joanne Michelle Richdale

Research on NZ Abortion History

Joanne Richdale wrote her PhD thesis on "A Social History of Abortion in Twentieth-Century Aotearoa New Zealand, 1919-1950". She said of her thesis,[1]

"My PhD thesis (in progress) is a social history of abortion in New Zealand from 1920 to c.1960. In this thesis I engage actual records of women’s illegal abortion experiences alongside the representations of illegal abortion made by activists for legal, medical, social and political change during the 1920s and 30s. Much of New Zealand scholarship on abortion has been influenced by this activism, yet little has been written on how it related to actual women’s experiences of abortion. How did this activism affect the ways that illegal abortions were performed during and after WWII? And what impact did it have on the way that illegal abortion was identified and investigated as a crime?"

Richdale received a research award provided by the Wellington Branch of the New Zealand Federation of Graduate Women.[2]

Scholarship from AMAT

The Auckland Medical Aid Trust (AMAT) awarded Joanne Richdale the Auckland Medical Aid Trust Scholarship worth $25,000 for her PhD research on abortion history in New Zealand. Her work covers abortion practices, legal and medical aspects, and the campaign for abortion law reform. AMAT is the charitable trust which is the sole shareholder of the Auckland Medical Aid Centre abortion mill.[2][3]


  1. University of Auckland: Faculty of Arts - Joanne Richdale (accessed on 1 July, 2011)
  2. 2.0 2.1 New Horizons for Women: 2008 Annual Report (accessed on 1 July, 2011)
  3. AMAT: Scholarship (accessed on 1 July, 2011)