Academic journal article Canadian Review of Social Policy

Our Bodies Are Our Own: Connecting Abortion and Social Policy

Academic journal article Canadian Review of Social Policy

Our Bodies Are Our Own: Connecting Abortion and Social Policy

Article excerpt

Abstract

It has been 25 years since abortion was decriminalized by the Supreme Court of Canada in 1988, as the court struck down Section 251 of the Criminal Code of Canada, and abortion was made available for women to access without the consent of a doctor. This amendment to the Criminal Code of Canada was a significant step for women, who were granted autonomy in reproductive health decisions. While women are able to access abortion in Canada, pro-life advocates continue to attempt to limit reproductive options through anti-abortion legislation and advocacy. Through critical discourse analysis, Canadian pro-life discourse has been examined to understand the strategies used to limit women's sexual health choices. This study has identified four themes, The Fetus has Rights, Abortion is Traumatic, Women are First and Foremost Mothers, and Women do not Really Need Abortion that are used to present a narrative about femininity, reproductive health choices, and abortion. Through understanding pro-life discourse and bringing abortion access into social policy, we can work to ensure that women continue to have access to abortion in Canada.

Résumé

Il ya 25 ans que l'avortement etait décriminialisé par le Cour Supreme du Canada et l'article 251 de le Code Criminel du Canada a été invalidé. Depuis lors, les femmes ont eu accès à l'avortement sans le consetement d'un medicin. L'amendement de 1988 marque une étape importante pour les femme qui, á ce period là, ells étaient accordés l'autonomie dans leurs décisions [de] la santé de la réproduction. Bien que les femmes sont libre d'accéder l'avortement au Canada, les avocats pro-vie continuent à limiter les options reproducteurs des femmes à travers de la législation anti-avortement. Le discours pro-vie est examiné critiquement dans cet article afin de comprendre les stratégies utilisé pour limiter les choix de santé sexuelle des femmes. Il identifie quatres thèmes: les droits de foetus; la avortement c'est traumatisant; les femmes sont d'abord et avant tout des meres; et les femmes n'ont pas besoin de l'avortement; qui sont utilisé pour presenter un récit negative sur la féminité, leurs choix de santé sexuelle, et l'avortement.

Introduction

The right to access abortion in Canada was shaped by feminist activists fighting for the protection of a woman's right to control her reproductive body. Abortion was decriminalized by the Supreme Court of Canada in 1988, as the court struck down the Criminal Code of Canada, which criminalized women accessing abortion without the consent of a doctor (Jenson, 1997). The court found that the criminalization of abortion infringed on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms that guaranteed security of the person; the court decided that security of the person included access to medical care and procedures (Jenson, 1997). This amendment was a significant step for women, who were granted autonomy in reproductive health decisions; however, access to abortion has been a struggle for women in Canada, and continues to be an everyday struggle for women all over the world.

While women are able to access abortion in Canada, pro-life advocacy and legislation attempts to limit a woman's right to choose. The demand for choice presents major challenges to dominant discourses of femininity and sexuality, and in particular, pro-life discourse. The goal of the pro-choice movement is to support women in choosing how to best respond to pregnancy, whether it be abortion, adoption, or becoming a parent, while the pro-life goal is to limit abortion as a reproductive option. Some pro-life advocates in Canada engage in public education through advocacy groups such as the Campaign Life Coalition (CLC), while others attempt to legislate change in the Parliament of Canada.

This paper examines themes within selections of pro - life advocacy materials, including CLC online materials, and seven bills that have been proposed in the Parliament of Canada. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.