In the mid-1960s, recognition grew that women often sought abortion for conscientious reasons, and that its medical restriction could be oppressive and unjust, causing women acting for justificable reasons to go to unskilled illegal practitioners or to make crude interventions in their own bodies. Britain`s Abortion Act of 1967, as amended in 1990, decriminalizes abortion before the twenty fourth week of pregnancy if “the continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk, greater than if the pregnancy were terminated, of injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman or any existing children of her family.”
Abortion also became lawful after twenty-four weeks when necessary to prevent risk to the life or grave permanent injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman, and when “there is a substantial risk that if the child were born it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped.” Health care providers, however, have a right of conscientious objection, and cannot be required to participate in abortion procedures.
Since 1967, about seventy-five countries in all regions of the world, including Guyana, India, South Africa, and Romania, have liberalized their abortion laws. Reformed laws allow abortion at various time from conception to twelve or more weeks, and to save life, health, and other interest. Perhaps the best-known reforming court judgmen was made by the United States Supreme Court in 1973, in the case of Roe v. Wade. The Court recognized that a woman has a constitutionally protected righ to terminate pregnancy until her fetus is viable, which is at the end of second trimester of pregnancy (about twenty-four weeks’ gestation), and that after viability states may regulate abortion to save the life or health of the mother.
The judgment triggered a strong backlash, and continuing attempts have been made to have the Court’s composition for this purpose. The Court was criticized for making new law, although sympathetic analysts found the Court had symply restored the law as it stood in 1787, when the United States wrote its Constitution and adopted much of the pre-1803 English criminal law.
Abortion As A Right Of Women
An increasing number of countries now recognize a woman’s right to exercise abortion choice for a time, usually until about twelve weeks after the beginning of pregnancy, and allow the procedure afterwards when faced with health, social, or other risk. In 1988, the Supreme Court of Canada, in the case of R. v. Morgentaler, held the countrys restrictive abortion law unconstintutional. The Chief Justice found that “forcing a woman, by threat of criminal sanction, to carry a fetus to term unless she meets certain criteria unrelated to her own priorities and aspirations is a profound interference with a woman’s body and thus a violation of security of the person.” The law was accordingly ruled void, and abortion is low regulated like any other medical prosedure, allowing a woman to make her desicion according to her own ethical judgment.