Human Rights and Abortion Laws

International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Vol. 65, pp. 81-87, 1999

7 Pages Posted: 22 Nov 2006

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

Human rights protections have developed to resist governmental intrusion in private life and choices. Abortion laws have evolved in legal practice to protect not fetuses as such but state interests, particularly in prenatal life. National and international tribunals are increasingly called upon to resolve conflicts between state enforcement of continuation of pregnancy against women's wishes and women's reproductive choices. Legal recognition that human life begins at conception does not resolve conflicts between respect due to women's reproductive self-determination and due to prenatal life. Human rights protect healthcare providers' claims to conscientious objection, but not at the cost of women's lives and enduring health.

Keywords: Abortion, Prenatal life, Maternal mortality, Conscientious objection, Reproductive self-determination, Human rights

JEL Classification: I18, K19

Suggested Citation

Cook, Rebecca J. and Dickens, Bernard, Human Rights and Abortion Laws. International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Vol. 65, pp. 81-87, 1999. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=946492

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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