International Developments in Abortion Law From 1988 to 1998
Cook, Rebecca J.
Dickens, Bernard M.
Bliss, Laura E.
American Journal of Public Health. 1999 Apr; 89(4): 579-586.
OBJECTIVES: In 2 successive decades since 1967, legal accommodation of abortion has grown in many countries. The objective of this study was to assess whether liberalizing trends have been maintained in the last decade and whether increased protection of women's human rights has influenced legal reform. METHODS: A worldwide review was conducted of legislation and judicial rulings affecting abortion, and legal reforms were measured against governmental commitments made under international human rights treaties and at United Nations conferences. RESULTS: Since 1987, 26 jurisdictions have extended grounds for lawful abortion, and 4 countries have restricted grounds. Additional limits on access to legal abortion services include restrictions on funding of services, mandatory counseling and reflection delay requirements, third-party authorizations, and blockades of abortion clinics. CONCLUSIONS: Progressive liberalization has moved abortion laws from a focus on punishment toward concern with women's health and welfare and with their human rights. However, widespread maternal mortality and morbidity show that reform must be accompanied by accessible abortion services and improved contraceptive care and information.
Abortion; Conscience; Counseling; Criminal Law; Consent; Drugs; Government; Government Financing; Government Regulation; Health; Health Care; Health Personnel; Human Rights; International Aspects; Law; Legal Aspects; Legislation; Laws; Mandatory Programs; Methods; Morbidity; Mortality; Pregnant Women; Punishment; Rape; Regulation; Review; Rights; Selective Abortion; Sex Determination; Third Party Consent; Time Factors; Trends; Violence; Women's Health; Women's Rights;
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Cook, Rebecca J.; Dickens, Bernard M. (1988-10)During the period between 1977 and the first quarter of 1988, 35 countries liberalized their abortion laws and four countries limited grounds for the procedure. Most legislation has extended abortion eligibility ...