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Harm Reduction, Human Rights, and Access to Information on Safer Abortion

International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics 118 (2012): 83-86

4 Pages Posted: 9 Aug 2012  

Joanna N. Erdman

Dalhousie University - Schulich School of Law

Date Written: 2012

Abstract

A harm reduction and human rights approach, grounded in the principles of neutrality, humanism, and pragmatism, supports women's access to information on the safer self-use of misoprostol in diverse legal settings. Neutrality refers to a focus on the risks and harms of abortion rather than its legal or moral status. Humanism refers to the entitlement of all women to care and concern for their lives and health, to be treated with respect, worth, and dignity, and to the empowerment of women to participate in decision-making and political action. Pragmatism accepts the historical reality that women will engage in unsafe abortion, including self-induction, while addressing factors that render them vulnerable to this reality, and requires assessment of interventions to reduce abortion-related harms on evidence of their real rather than intended effect. Criminal law reform is a necessary conclusion to a harm reduction and human rights approach.

Keywords: Harm reduction, human rights, information, medical abortion, misoprostol, safer use, unsafe abortion

JEL Classification: I10, I12, I18, J13, K33, K40

Suggested Citation

Erdman, Joanna N., Harm Reduction, Human Rights, and Access to Information on Safer Abortion (2012). International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics 118 (2012): 83-86. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2127415

Joanna N. Erdman (Contact Author)

Dalhousie University - Schulich School of Law ( email )

6061 University Avenue
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4H9
Canada

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