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Abortion and Contraception in 20th century Greece

Tuesday 30 May 2023

Couples in Greece started controlling the number of children they had in the early 1930s. By the early 1960s, most Greek couples had a very small number of children. This talk will explore how couples achieved this fertility control, by asking the following questions: What methods did women and men use? How did they negotiate these method(s)? When did they choose abortion and when contraception?

Event organised by the Society for Modern Greek Studies.

Violetta Hionidou is Professor of Modern European History at the School of History, Classics and Archaeology, Newcastle University. She works on famines; birth control, abortion and fertility in historical populations; popular and modern Medicine in modern Greece; family history; identities and experiences of exile of Pontic Greeks from the former USSR; and, more recently, experiences of being a refugee. Her work is interdisciplinary. She has employed extensively Oral History, tackling ‘difficult’ subjects, ranging from abortion, birth control and famine-memory in Greece to identity and exile in the Soviet Union. She has published two award-winning monographs:  Abortion and Contraception in Modern Greece, 1830-1967: Medicine, Sexuality and Popular Culture. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020; and,  Famine and Death in Occupied Greece, 1941-1944. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006.

Photo credit: A Mykonos family, around 1908-1910. Source: P. Kousathanas, Enthymion Mykonou (1885-1985), University of Crete Press, 1998, vol.1, p.81


The Hellenic Centre


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