Upholding Pregnant Women's Right to Life

International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics 117 (2012): 90-94

5 Pages Posted: 7 Jun 2012

See all articles by Rebecca J. Cook

Rebecca J. Cook

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Bernard Dickens

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Date Written: 2012

Abstract

Recent decisions of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, and the High Court of Delhi have shown how the pregnancy-related deaths of individual women have been bases on which these authoritative tribunals have held Brazil, Paraguay, and India respectively accountable for avoidable maternal mortality not only in these cases, but also among their populations more generally. The right to life is the most fundamental of women's human rights, recognized in international human rights treaties and national laws. Failure of governments to apply their resources adequately to address, respect, and protect this right violates the law of human rights. These cases show, however, that governments may fail to allocate adequate resources to women's survival of pregnancy. Tribunals can build on the failures in individual cases to set standards of performance to which governments will legally be held to achieve safe motherhood.

Keywords: Brazil, India, Maternal mortality, Near-miss maternal death, Paraguay, Right to life, Women's rights to life and equality

JEL Classification: I18, K33

Suggested Citation

Cook, Rebecca J. and Dickens, Bernard, Upholding Pregnant Women's Right to Life (2012). International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics 117 (2012): 90-94. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2079794

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)

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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