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Empowering Women

From Murder & Misogyny to High Court Victory

Empowering Women is the uplifting behind-the-scenes story of how the murder of a man catalysed one abortion-providing clinic’s fight to protect women from religious extremists. An army of women responded and forced Parliament to enact a women-centred law that ultimately saw a 2019 landmark High Court decision enshrine Australian women’s entitlement to reproductive autonomy and respect. Empowering Women gives you a front row seat in the courtroom and takes you behind closed doors into the personal, legal, and political twists and turns of this long campaign. Interwoven with Susie Allanson’s personal narrative are insights from key protagonists, primary source material, and crucial lessons for anyone wanting to change the law or redesign the world for the better.

Dr Susie Allanson was a clinical psychologist for more than 35 years. Twenty-six of those years were at the Fertility Control Clinic, including when the clinic’s security guard was murdered. Susie led the clinic’s campaign for safe access to abortion. She is the author of Murder on His Mind.
Lizzie O’Shea is a lawyer and writer. Her commentary is featured regularly on television programs and radio, usually about law, technology, or human rights. Lizzie represented the Fertility Control Clinic in the Supreme Court case to stop the harassment of staff and patients by anti-abortion fanatics. She is the author of Future Histories (2019).

* A compelling case study of successful feminist activism in Australia told by the women who lived it. Empowering Women is the story of how the murder of one man changed the future of women’s rights.
* The book is released on the 20th anniversary of the murder of Fertility Control Clinic security guard Steve Rogers by an antiabortion fanatic. The event became known Australia-wide as The Abortion Clinic Murder.
* An explanation of the landmark legal case in Australia and an account of a successful campaign for law reform. This is the story of how one clinic’s struggle grew into a collective of women able to sway institutions like parliaments, the police and the court system towards the ideals of progressive social movements.
* Unlike any other abortion story, Empowering Women is a personal account filled with the strong voices and wisdom of women and a political narrative about transformative change.
* Foreword by Natasha Stott Despoja AO, Member of UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, and Author of On Violence.
* The material in the book is being taught in university courses throughout Australia, and the book will be promoted within legal, political and feminist networks.
* Features, reviews and interviews including in The Guardian,, The Age, The Daily Telegraph, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Saturday Paper.
* TV coverage on The Project, The Feed and The Drum.
* Radio promotion on SBS Australia, ABC National, 3AW and Mamamia, Women’s Agenda.
* Podcasts including Mamamia Out Loud, Ladies We Need to Talk, Australian True Crime, and Fierce Girls.


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