Abortion as a Human Right International and Regional Standards

Posted: 14 Jul 2008

See all articles by Christina Zampas

Christina Zampas

University of Toronto - International Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Program

Jaime M. Gher

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Abstract

This article focuses on the striking expansion of international and regional human rights standards and jurisprudence that support women's human right to abortion. It summarises pertinent developments within the United Nations, European, Inter-American and African human rights systems regarding abortion, as they relate to women's rights to life and health, in situations of rape, incest or foetal impairment, and for abortion based on social and economic reasons and on request. In doing so, the article touches on charged issues such as maternal mortality, prohibitions of therapeutic abortion as infringing on the right to be free from cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, and state procedural obligations to ensure women's right to access legal abortion. Finally, the article addresses the growing recognition by international human rights bodies that criminalisation of abortion leads women to obtain unsafe abortions, threatening their lives and health, and recent national-level developments in the field.

Suggested Citation

Zampas, Christina and Gher, Jaime M., Abortion as a Human Right International and Regional Standards. Human Rights Law Review, Vol. 8, Issue 2, pp. 249-294, 2008, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1159247 or http://dx.doi.org/ngn008

Christina Zampas (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - International Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Program ( email )

Canada

Jaime M. Gher

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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