What is An Abortion? ?Abortion means ending a pregnancy before the fetus(unborn child) can live independently outside themother. If abortion happens spontaneously before 24weeks of pregnancy, it is called a miscarriage. Aninduced (or "therapeutic") abortion is causeddeliberately in order to end the pregnancy.
Pro-life: People who are against abortion, often based on religion.Pro-choice: People who are for the womans right to decide overher own body and have an abortion if she chooses.
History Of AbortionTimeline Of Significant Events1869- Parliament passed changes that permitted abortions but only “under strictcircumstances.” This provision required women to seek approval from a therapeuticabortion committee composed of three medical practitioners.1973-74 – Henry Morgentaler sets up an abortion clinic in Montreal contrary to law. He isarrested, charged, found innocent, decision appealed, found guilty. This happens threetimes. Finally the Quebec government stops charging him and he continues to doabortions in Montreal.1975 – A petition of over 1 million signatures, the largest in Canadian history, is presentedto parliament requesting protection for the life of the unborn.1975 – Joe Borowski, former NDP Minister of Highways in Manitoba, launches a courtcase asking that the 1969 amendments to the Criminal Code be declared invalid, anddeclaring that the outlay of public money for abortion is unlawful because it contravenesthe Canadian Bill of Rights.1981 – The province of Quebec sets up Abortion Clinics as part of its community healthservices. These CLSC’s operate outside Canadian law but with the financial backing of
History Of Abortion1982 – Henry Morgentaler announces plans to establish a free standing abortion clinic inWinnipeg. Shortly thereafter he opens one in Toronto. In Manitoba, the College ofPhysicians & Surgeons refuses to license the facility.1983 – Morgentaler is charged with illegal abortion, along with abortionists Dr. LeslieSmoling and Dr. Robert Scott. Morgentaler and Scott are also charged in Winnipeg.1985 – The Ontario jury acquits the abortionists after accepting Morgentaler’s use of thedefense of necessity. The Ontario Court of Appeal reverses the decision. Morgentalerasks the Supreme Court to hear the case.1988 – Criminal restrictions on performing abortions are effectively removed with theSupreme Court of Canadas ruling in R. v. Morgentaler. The abortion law is struck down onthe basis of section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms which is the right to"life, liberty, and security of the person". The court states that the abortion law had createda situation in which access to abortion was not equal across the country: women in someareas could more easily receive an abortion than could those in other areas.
R. v. Morgentaler, (S.C.C.)Facts:Dr. Henry Morgentaler, Dr. Leslie Franck Smoling and Dr. Robert Scottwere all qualified medical practitioners. The three doctors were chargedwith illegally performing abortions in a private clinic, contrary to section251(1) of the Criminal Code. Section 251(4) of the Criminal Code requireda woman who wanted an abortion to apply to a hospital where a specialcommittee would approve the abortion only if it was necessary for the life orhealth of the woman. The abortion had to be done by a doctor who was nota member of the committee. The appellant’s clinic, however, served womenwho did not have such a certificate. Furthermore, the appellants madepublic statements asserting that women have the free choice to have anabortion, as well as directly criticizing the abortion laws in Canada. Theappellants were charged with conspiring with one another with the intent toprocure abortions contrary to ss. 423(1)(d) and 251(1) of the CriminalCode.
Issue(s):The Supreme Court considered seven issues:1. Whether s. 251 of the Criminal Code violates the rights and freedomsguaranteed by ss. 2(a), 7, 12, 15, 27 and 28 of the Charter.2. If such a violation occurs, whether it is justifiable under s. 1 of theCharter.3. Whether s. 251 of the Criminal Code is ultra vires the Parliament ofCanada.4. Whether s. 251 of the Criminal Code violates s. 96 of the ConstitutionAct, 1867.5. Whether s. 251 of the Criminal Code unlawfully delegates federalcriminal power to provincial Ministers of Health or Therapeutic AbortionCommittees and, as such, whether the Federal Government hasabdicated its authority in this area.6. Whether ss. 605 and 610(3) of the Criminal Code violates the rightsand freedoms guaranteed by ss. 7, 11(d), 11(f), 11(h), and 24(1) of theCharter.7. If such a violation occurs, whether it is justifiable under s. 1 of theCharter.
DecisonDoctors Morgentaler, Smoling and Scott argued that section 251 of theCriminal Code violated a womans guarantee to life, liberty and security ofperson found in section 7 of the Charter. The Supreme Court of Canadaruled that section 251 of the Criminal Code did violate section 7 of theCharter. The Court stated, "forcing a woman by threat of criminal sanctionto carry a fetus to term unless she meets certain criteria unrelated to herown priorities and aspirations is a profound interference with a womansbody and thus a violation of the security of the person." The Court foundthat section 251 caused delays that might result in psychological orphysical harm. Also the Court said the law set no standard by which thecommittees could judge the danger to a womans health. Thirdly, becausethe section required hospitals to have at least four doctors to authorize andperform abortions, the operation was simply not available to many womanwho relied on small or local hospitals.The Court struck down section 251 of the Criminal Code and theconvictions of Doctors Morgentaler, Smoling and Scott.
CasesR. v. Drummond, Ontario Provincial Court (1996)Brenda Drummond is acquitted of murder after shooting a pellet gun into herbirth canal two days before her full-term son is born. The charge of attemptedmurder is dismissed by the court on the basis that the child is not legally aperson and therefore not included in the Criminal Code. The Attorney Generalof Ontario decides not to appeal this decision.Winnipeg Child and Family Services (Northwest Area) v. G. (D.F.) 3 S.C.R.(1997)A woman identified as G is five months pregnant with her fourth child and isaddicted to glue sniffing. Two of Gs other children were born disabled due toher addiction. Child and Family Services is permitted by the Manitoba SuperiorCourt to detain G in a health care centre for treatment until her childs birth. TheManitoba Court of Appeal overturns this ruling, saying that child protection lawscannot be extended to unborn children. The Supreme Court of Canada agreeswith this ruling saying that Gs child is not a legal person possessing rights. "Anyright or interest the fetus may have
Thesis StatementWomen should be given more rightsthan a fetus as denying them anabortion can violate a women’s mentalintegrity, and physical integrity.
Physical Integrity Physical integrity can also be known as bodily integrity it emphasizes the importance of yourself as a human being and self-determination over your own body.1. Women’s have the right over their own health and how they want to be treated health wise.* The decision of having an abortion or not is a difficult choice for many women and can causethem emotional distress affecting their emotional health. If a woman is not prepared for anabortion, it can stress her out and affect her emotional health. She may start thinking ofnegative things like how they are going to raise the baby and get money to support the baby.2. There are many health problems associated with pregnancies and how they are carried out some aremore serious then others.* If the woman already has a health related disease that she knows will effect the baby, sheshould be able to choose to have an abortion to protect, not just her life, but also the babies.
Mental IntegrityThe right to mental integrity includes the womens ability and self-knowledge to make the right moral decision.1. A womens identity is the most important thing to her and theamount of control she as over her body affects how she will beseen as throughout society2. Womens have the right to choose what they want to do withtheir body and what they choose is right for their lives.
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms: Section 7(Legal Rights)7. Everyone has the right to life, liberty andsecurity of the person and the right not to bedeprived thereof except in accordance with theprinciples of fundamental justice.
What is a fetus? A fetus is an unborn, developing mammal. The fetal stage comes after the embryo stage, after the eighth week of gestation or the 10th week of pregnancy, and lasts until birth. A normally developing fetus will havebegun to form major identifying features at the end of theeighth week, such as its nose and mouth. Its organs will also have begun to develop and will continue to do so until it is born.
Section 233(1) Infanticide233. A female person commits infanticide when by a wilful act oromission she causes the death of her newly-born child, if at the timeof the act or omission she is not fully recovered from the effects ofgiving birth to the child and by reason thereof or of the effect oflactation consequent on the birth of the child her mind is thendisturbed.
How are Womens rights more important then a fetus?1. A woman is a living person and is both physically andmentally developed.2. A fetus is not considered a human being scientificallyand has no mental features that a normal living humanbeing has. A fetus is not an actual human being anddoes not have any rights under the charter.
Conclusion A womens physical integrity means a lot to her, especially in today’s society since people are oftenjudged on their physical well-being. If a woman mentally decides that having an abortion is right for her, she should be allowed to do so. Womens rights are more important than those of a fetus. A woman is a fullydeveloped human being and should have the right to dowhatever she thinks is morally right for her and her body.