Of Rights and Power: Canada's Federal Abortion Policy 1969–1991

Melissa Haussman

in Abortion Politics, Women's Movements, and the Democratic State

Published in print November 2001 | ISBN: 9780199242665
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600258 | DOI:

Series: Gender and Politics

 Of Rights and Power: Canada's Federal Abortion Policy 1969–1991

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Canada's government gained constitutional autonomy from Britain in the 1960s and decriminalized abortion for a few women under the strict control of doctors and hospitals. When the Supreme Court ruled this law unconstitutional in 1988, it marked a complete success for the women's movement activists. They were able to seal this victory by stopping, barely, the attempts by the Conservative government to return abortion law to the criminal code. The movement developed its political clout without the help of numerous women's policy agencies that, although sympathetic to feminist goals and well‐funded, were silenced by the policy environment.

Keywords: abortion; Canada; Conservative party; constitution; doctors; feminism; policy environment; Supreme Court; women's movement; women's policy agencies

Chapter.  10603 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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