Journal Article

YOUNG WOMEN, PREGNANCY, AND ABORTION IN BRITAIN: A DISCUSSION OF ‘LAW IN PRACTICE’

Ellie Lee

in International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family

Volume 18, issue 3, pages 283-304
Published in print December 2004 | ISSN: 1360-9939
Published online December 2004 | e-ISSN: 1464-3707 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/lawfam/18.3.283
YOUNG WOMEN, PREGNANCY, AND ABORTION IN BRITAIN: A DISCUSSION OF ‘LAW IN PRACTICE’

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This contribution draws primarily on findings of an interview study with a group of young women living in Britain who conceived a pregnancy when aged under 18. Through discussion of their narratives, it aims to provide insights about areas of young women’s experience that legal scholars have highlighted as potentially problematic under the current legal framework; namely involvement of parents when those aged under 16 seek medical treatment, and the provision of abortion to under 18s. The broader aim here is to provide comment on the gap between abortion law ‘on paper’, and ‘in practice’. The paper finds that abortion law in Britain operates in practice in a way that differs from what might be expected on the basis of its terms on paper, in that most young women are unlikely to encounter major difficulties when accessing abortion. Nevertheless a key criticism made of the law by legal scholars – that it medicalizes abortion – emerges as having continuing validity, and the conclusion is drawn that the rules that regulate abortion in Britain should remain subject to challenge.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Family Law ; Marriage and the Family

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