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Fighting For Women’s Rights

caroline de costa

True stories from my five decades of delivering babies and making history.

‘Caroline de Costa takes us on an enthralling and at times eye-popping ride
through her brilliant career as an obstetrician and fierce advocate for women’s
reproductive freedom.’– Anne Summers, author of Unfettered and Alive.

‘We never train women in Sydney,’ Caroline de Costa was told in 1974 when
she applied to become a junior registrar in obstetrics and gynaecology. So
she and her husband packed their bags – and their children – and headed for

map of dublin

When Caroline first started in medicine, being an unmarried mother was still
frowned upon, male cane toads were used for pregnancy tests, and giving
birth was much riskier than it is today. Her very funny stories of bringing
babies into the world show that while much has changed, women still work
hard, and it remains a bloody business. A birth plan is no guarantee of a
normal birth (whatever that is).

Men have always wanted to control women’s bodies, and Caroline de Costa
has been instrumental in giving Australian women of all backgrounds the opportunity to choose how and when they have babies. Her behind-the-scenes stories reveal it’s often the little things that change everything for the better.


In The Women’s Doc, de Costa tells us the rollercoaster ride of fighting for
women’s reproductive rights – to be allowed legal contraception and
abortion. She tells us funny, poignant and sometimes alarming stories in
which women give birth in Ireland and in remote parts of Australia, PNG and
Nauru, as well as many from mainstream Australia – but most of all, she tells
of how changes were made to allow women more reproductive freedom in
Australia: a battle women would never want to go through again.


The Womans Doctor


Caroline de Costa is the first woman to become a professor of
obstetrics and gynaecology in Australia, and throughout her life
she has worked to help Australian women and elsewhere get
the reproductive health services they need. She is a professor at
the James Cook University School of Medicine, editor of The
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics &
Gynaecology, author of 15 books and mother of seven.

‘Caroline de Costa has lived an exciting and unusual life, is a
brilliant doctor, a fierce and trailblazing feminist and now reveals
herself as a gripping and evocative writer!’ Jane Caro

‘An illuminating, infuriating and inspiring tour around the life
and career of a woman who helped changed the face of
reproductive healthcare in Australia.’ Gina Rushton


Written by Jules Steer

Jules Steer is the Publisher of Oasis Magazine. With a career in Business Development spanning three decades, she's stressed, #blessed, and coffee obsessed ☕

A solo mum of four "determined", "focussed" and "energetic" young kids, she is often found with her head in her hands, lamenting her latest parenting fail.

A cricket-loving hip-hop tragic, very ordinary triathlete and champion cheerleader of all things #Cairns, Jules is easily recharged with Shiraz and Vodka - sometimes in the same glass.

Warning: Most situations get sweary quickly.

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