Achieving Transparency in Implementing Abortion Laws

International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Vol. 99, pp. 157-161, 2007

5 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2007

See all articles by Rebecca J. Cook

Rebecca J. Cook

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Joanna N. Erdman

Dalhousie University - Schulich School of Law

Bernard Dickens

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Abstract

National and international courts and tribunals are increasingly ruling that although states may aim to deter unlawful abortion by criminal penalties, they bear a parallel duty to inform physicians and patients of when abortion is lawful. The fear is that women are unjustly denied safe medical procedures to which they are legally entitled, because without such information physicians are deterred from involvement. With particular attention to the European Court of Human Rights, the UN Human Rights Committee, the Constitutional Court of Colombia, the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal, and the US Supreme Court, decisions are explained that show the responsibility of states to make rights to legal abortion transparent. Litigants are persuading judges to apply rights to reproductive health and human rights to require states' explanations of when abortion is lawful, and governments are increasingly inspired to publicize regulations or guidelines on when abortion will attract neither police nor prosecutors' scrutiny.

Keywords: reproductive health, abortion, termination of pregnancy, law, ethics, transparency, rights

JEL Classification: K10, J13, I18, I10

Suggested Citation

Cook, Rebecca J. and Erdman, Joanna N. and Dickens, Bernard, Achieving Transparency in Implementing Abortion Laws. International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Vol. 99, pp. 157-161, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1041321

Rebecca J. Cook

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )

78 Queen's Park Cr.
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
Canada
416-978-4446 (Phone)
416-978-7899 (Fax)

Joanna N. Erdman

Dalhousie University - Schulich School of Law ( email )

6061 University Avenue
6061 University Ave
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4H9
Canada

Bernard Dickens (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )

78 and 84 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
Canada
416-978-4849 (Phone)
416-978-7899 (Fax)

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