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Abstract

This article compares deaths and death rates for women giving birth with those for mine workers, mainly in coal, in New South Wales (NSW). It focuses on the period 1875–1914, and asks why maternal mortality, which far exceeded mining fatalities, was largely ignored by contemporary legislators and others in a position to reduce an unnecessarily high death toll. It also asks why Australian historians, particularly feminist ones, have ignored the subject just as comprehensively.

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