Reproductive Rights by pengxiuhui


									HPW3C                   Living & Working with Children                         L. Ryan

                               Reproductive Rights
The 20th Century gave light to some significant changes in reproductive rights and
technology, including changes in practices, politics and social acceptance. Using the
internet, read the key event and locate the accurate date for it. Some will be centuries
(e.g. Late 19th Century), others will be specific dates. Your final product will be a
composite historical timeline of the evolution of reproductive rights.

   Date/Century                         Key Event, Prevailing Attitudes
                        The age of witch-hunting; witches represented a political, religious and
                        sexual threat to the Protestant & Catholic churches, as well as the
                        state; witches were accused of every conceivable sexual crime against
                        men (impotence, infertility, infection etc) and that all witch’s powers
                        were ultimately derived from her sexuality, which was condemned.
                        Rise of the European medical profession; medicine became a profession,
                        requiring university training, which made it easy to bar women legally
                        from practice.
                        Male takeover of healing roles; by turn of the century, medicine was
                        closed to all but a tiny minority of women and what was left was nursing
                        professions which was in no way a substitute for the autonomous roles
                        women had enjoyed as mid-wives and general healers.
                        Female midwives in England organized and charged the male
                        practitioners with commercialism (lucrative business tactics) and
                        dangerous misuse of forceps and traditional practices.
                        Popular Health Movement was created and became a medical front for
                        feminists and working class movements that created courses such as
                        the “Ladies Physiological Societies” providing simple instruction in
                        anatomy and personal hygiene; emphasis was preventative care and the
                        movement was a radical assault on medical elitism; women still
                        prevented from established medical schools (e.g. Harvard) and forced
                        to attend smaller, secular schools to train.
                        The rare woman who did make it into a “regular” medical school faced
                        one sexist hurdle after another including harassment, a failure to
                        discuss anatomy with a lady present, sexist textbooks.
                        “Women’s Health Movement” began and Elizabeth Blackwell became
                        demanded an end to lay midwifery and a “complete medical education”
                        for all who practiced obstetrics.
                        Parliament passes Canada’s first Criminal code prohibiting abortion as
                        well as the sale, distribution and advertising of contraceptives. A
                        significant number of women continue to seek both regardless of the
                        Medicine had become a predominantly white, male, middle class
                        profession due to social, economical and political upheaval of the time
HPW3C   Living & Working with Children                           L. Ryan

        period and nursing became the profession for women.
        Margaret Sanger began work in a poor slum area of Manhattan and
        wrote a column for the 'New York Call' called 'What Every Girl Should
        Know. She also distributed a pamphlet to poor women - Family
        Limitation - which included information about contraception and risked
        being arrested because of it.
        Margaret Sanger opened the International Planned Parenthood
        First marketing of a contraceptive pill, which Margaret Sanger helped
        to develop was released.
        Roe vs. Wade is the historic Supreme Court decision overturning a
        Texas interpretation of abortion law and making abortion legal in the
        United States. The Roe v. Wade decision held that a woman, with her
        doctor, could choose abortion in earlier months of pregnancy without
        restriction, and with restrictions in later months, based on the right to
        Supreme Court struck down the Connecticut law prohibiting the use of
        contraception, even by married couples.
        Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s Liberal gov’t decriminalizes
        contraception and allows abortion under certain circumstances.
        Abortions may be performed in a hospital if a committee of doctors
        decides that continuing the pregnancy may endanger the mother’s life
        and health. Access is limited.
        Abortion activist Dr. Henry Morgentaler defies the law and opens an
        abortion clinic in Montreal. His clinic is raided in 1970 and he is charged
        with several offences. It marks the beginning of 20 yrs of legal battle.
        35 women chain themselves to the parliamentary gallery in Ottawa as
        part of a two-day demonstration for abortion rights.
        Morgentaler announces he has successfully performed more than 5,000
        Morgantaler begins serving an 18-month jail sentence after the
        Supreme Court of Canada rejects his appeal. Earlier, Quebec court had
        convicted him of conspiracy to commit an abortion. While he’s in jail,
        Quebec prosecutes him on a second count of conspiracy to commit
        abortion. This time, he’s acquitted – and the Quebec Court of Appeals
        does not overturn the verdict.
        A petition against abortion rights with more than one million signatures
        is delivered to Parliament.
        The federal justice minister sets aside Morgantaler’s original
        conviction and orders a re-trial. Morgantaler is released from jail after
        serving 10 mths.
        Morgantaler is acquitted of the original charges laid after his Montreal
        clinic was raided in 1970. In November, Quebec’s newely elected Parti
        Quebecois gov’t drops all outstanding charges against Morgantaler.
        Canada enacts the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Any law found
HPW3C   Living & Working with Children                          L. Ryan

        contravening those rights can be struck down as invalid.
        Police raid Morgantaler’s newly opened Toronto clinic and charge him.
        Over the next 5 yrs, the case winds its way to the Supreme court.
        Former Manitoba politician Joe Borowski launches a case asking the
        courts to declare the 1969 amendments to the Criminal Code invalid. He
        argues that the outlay of public money for abortion is unlawful because
        it contravenes the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which he
        argues guarantees a fetus’s right to life.
        A Gallup poll shows that 72% of Canadians believe the decision to abort
        should rest soley with the pregnant woman and her doctor.
        The Supreme Court of Canada strikes down Canada’s abortion law as
        unconstitutional. The law is found to violate Section 7 of the Charter
        of Rights & Freedoms because it infringes upon a woman’s right to “life,
        liberty and security of person”. Canada becomes one of a small number
        of countries without a law restricting abortion. Abortion law is now
        treated like any other medical procedure and is governed by provincial
        and medical regulations.
        Supreme Court of Canada refuses to rule on Borowski’s case, which
        argues that fetuses have a constitutionally guaranteed right to life.
        The court says his case is moot since the abortion law had already been
        struck down.
        Supreme Court of Canada rules that a man has no legal right to veto a
        woman’s abortion decision. The ruling comes after the boyfriend of
        Chantal Daigle obtained a court injunction preventing her from getting
        an abortion.
        Nova Scotia bans abortions in clinics outside of hospitals.
        The federal government introduces Bill C-43, which would sentence
        doctors to 2 yrs in jail for performing abortions, where a woman’s
        health is not at risk. The bill is passed by the House of Commons, but
        dies in the Senate after a tie vote.
        Morgantaler’s Toronto clinic is firebombed.
        New Brunswick bans abortion clinics outside of hospitals.
        1st Canadian doctor is shot for performing abortions in Vancouver.
        Provincial and federal rulings force Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to
        allow private abortion clinics. However, access outside of hospitals
        continues to be inconsistent across the country and woman may have to
        pay out-of-pocket.
        Conservative leader Stephen Harper tries to steer clear of the
        abortion controversy while campaigning for federal election, claiming he
        has no plans for changing existing laws. The statement comes after his
        party’s health critic says women considering an abortion should receive
        third-party counselling.
        The last hospital in New Brunswick to perform publicly funded
        abortions announces it will suspend the service as of July 1 st. New
        Brunswick is the only province in Canada that refuses to pay for
HPW3C                 Living & Working with Children                        L. Ryan

                      abortions performed in clinics, despite the 1988 Supreme Court of
                      Canada ruling.
                      Ken Epp introduces a private members bill in the House of Commons
                      that calls for the slaying of a fetus to be considered a separate
                      offence from the slaying of a pregnant woman. The Unborn Victims of
                      Crime Act survives a vote in the House of Commons, but ultimately
                      doesn’t get made into a law.
                      Pro-choice advocates denounce the planned bill as a means to enshrine
                      fetus rights, while the Canadian Medical Association opposes it.
                      Morgantaler, now 85, receives a distinguished award – an honour that
                      sparks outrage among anti-abortion advocates.
                      New legislation drafted to replace Ken Epps’s bill – the proposed bill
                      allows judges to consider a victim’s pregnancy when determining a
                      New Brunswick Court of Appeal finishes hearings into Morgantaler’s
                      proposed lawsuit against the provincial gov’t, which only pays for
                      abortions that are performed in hospitals and are approved by two
                      physicians. Morgantaler wants to sue the province for not covering the

Further Research:
   1. What happened in the Chantal Daigle case? What happened in a similar case in
   2. Who was the Prime Minister that introduced Bill C-43?
   3. What was the name of the man who murdered a Buffalo doctor on June 19th,
      2007 for performing abortions and what happened to him?
   4. On what street is Dr. Morgantaler’s Toronto clinic located?
   5. What was the name of the 1st Canadian doctor shot for performing abortions.
   6. What recent award did Dr. Morgantaler receive on July 1st, 2008? What were the
      reactions from society?
   7. What was the Roe vs. Wade case all about? Summarize.
   8. What was the name of the last hospital in New Brunswick to suspend abortion
      services as of July 1st.

To top