TITLE

Morgentaler v. The Queen in the Supreme Court of Canada

AUTHOR(S)
Martin, Sheilah L.
PUB. DATE
December 1987
SOURCE
Canadian Journal of Women & the Law;1987-1988, Vol. 2 Issue 2, p422
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
In Morgentaler v. R., the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the abortion provisions in the Criminal Code. In a five to two split, a majority of the Supreme Court judges found that section 251 offended a pregnant woman's constitutionally protected right not to be deprived of her "life, liberty, and security of the person." Sheilah Martin reviews the three majority judgments and focuses on the decision written by Madame Justice Wilson. She believes that Madame Justice Wilson's opinion merits special attention in several regards: her conclusions on the constitutional rights of pregnant women; her recognition and validation of women's perspectives on abortion; and her approach to balancing women's interests in reproductive self-determination against the state's interest in regulating reproduction. Sheilah Martin concludes that this decision will reverberate far into the future. Even though it fails to establish clear guidelines concerning governmental power to control access to abortion, its principles outline the legal framework in which future litigation will occur, and it will limit and shape the terms of any ensuing political debate. In addition, Madame Justice Wilson's judgment holds great promise for those looking to the Court to promote the rights of women and other historically disadvantaged groups.
ACCESSION #
11083500

 

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