WDW387 January 17 2012.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Woodsworth College Courses
William Watson

January 17Lecture 2Abortion Law January2412 117 PM Questions Do people own their bodies and do bodies have a price do women own their bodies Does state involvement over a pregnant woman imply her body is not always hers And so is less hers than a mans body to him should pregnancy change the legalethical status of womens body Reproductive rights who has a property interest in the womans pregnancy if it is not her own body abortions are common everywhere but are outlawed in some areas eg Ireland Poland Reforms in the 1960sprocuring an abortion was a crime until 1969 whether the procurer was medically trained or not doctors usually prosecuted only when woman were hospitalized or died abortion was not always outlawed eg 1860s turned to crime in codes 1968 Trudeau becomes PM and begins criminal code reform Wolfenden committee on reform of sex laws had set out a new rationale for using the criminal law to regulate sexual and reproductive conduct target of prosecution was not the woman it was the questionable doctors midwives who were profiting from it 1969 Criminal Code Reforms birth control legalized Homosexual sex partially legalized abortion now legal but highly regulated s251 abortion ok if performed in accredited hospital after permission granted by the majority of members of a therapeutic abortion committee TAC had to consist of three doctors discluding the one who was to perform the abortion hospitals were not forced to have therapeutic abortions grave problems of access inconsistency across the country rare to find four doctors willing to provide services or appear in committee so majority of Canada is left out of access also extremely busy as there were so few of them across the country Canada had high rate of late abortionsbecause it was so difficult to make appointments more danger associated withand less willingness to approve abortion as weeks go by Dr Morgentalers Montreal Clinic Auschwitz survivor nonreligious and prochoice Jewish campaigner for civil rights saw 1969 reform as a failure opted for civil disobedience opened Montreal Clinic June 1970 first police raid 12 more charges before trial on first one sent undercover women police November 1973 Montreal jury acquits M of conspiracy to procure an abortion note US Supreme Court legalized abortion in Roe v Wade decision 1973 Paranthesis Jury Nullification and the persistence of equity in common law systems juries are allowed to exercise equitable jurisdiction equity provides remedies when law fails equity is about substantive justice not formal rules importance of equity declines as statute law grows but it never disappears jury nullification of a law acquittal despite clear evidence of breach part of equitable jurisdiction Canadian judges have strongly objected Ontario Court of Appeal Canadian Supreme Court in Morgentaler judgements
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