The curate, a cleft palate and ideological closure in the Abortion Act 1967 – time to reconsider the relationship between doctors and the abortion decision

Grear, A. (2004) The curate, a cleft palate and ideological closure in the Abortion Act 1967 – time to reconsider the relationship between doctors and the abortion decision. Web Journal of Current Legal Issues, 4. ISSN 1360-1326

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Publisher's URL: http://webjcli.ncl.ac.uk/2004/issue4/grear4.html

Abstract

'This article suggests that the recent case of Jepson v The Chief Constable of West Mercia Police Constabulary [2003] EWHC 3318 provides a timely invitation to reflect upon the degree to which the law on abortion inappropriately elevates the role of doctors in the abortion decision. The author argues that there is an identifiable ideological closure operative in abortion law, the roots of which lie in the conceptual foundations of the Abortion Act 1967 itself, particularly viewed through the lens of the 1966 Second Reading Debate when the House of Commons had the opportunity to consider the question most broadly and freely. She suggests that neither women's rights nor potential foetal rights received adequate consideration in the framing of the Abortion Act 1967 and that the over-medicalisation of the issue, evident then and arguably present in the Jepson case, is now ripe for challenge. She suggests the analytical utility of a rights-based analysis of abortion, while advocating the careful contextualisation of that analytical approach within the complex social realities of abortion. She suggests that abortion is an inadequately met challenge for law makers and suggests that the time is now ripe for renewed public debate.'

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:abortion, cleft palate, medicalisation, rights
Faculty/Department:Faculty of Business and Law > Department of Law
ID Code:13529
Deposited By: A. Grear
Deposited On:17 Jan 2011 15:34
Last Modified:20 Aug 2013 19:04

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