Human Rights Dynamics of Abortion Law Reform

59 Pages Posted: 17 Jun 2003

See all articles by Rebecca J. Cook

Rebecca J. Cook

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Bernard Dickens

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Abstract

The legal approach to abortion is evolving from criminal prohibition towards accommodation as a life-preserving and health-preserving option, particularly in light of data on maternal mortality and morbidity. Modern momentum for liberalization comes from international adoption of the concept of reproductive health, and wider recognition that the resort to safe and dignified healthcare is a major human right. Respect for women's reproductive self-determination legitimates abortion as a choice when family planning services have failed, been inaccessible or been denied by rape. Recognition of women's rights of equal citizenship with men requires that their choices for self-determination be legally respected, not criminalized.

Suggested Citation

Cook, Rebecca J. and Dickens, Bernard, Human Rights Dynamics of Abortion Law Reform. Human Rights Quarterly, Vol. 25, pp. 1-59, 2003; U Toronto, Legal Studies Research Paper No. 03-04. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=407400

Rebecca J. Cook (Contact Author)

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

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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