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Abortion Law in Transnational Perspective
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Abortion Law in Transnational Perspective
Cases and Controversies

Edited by Rebecca J. Cook, Joanna N. Erdman, and Bernard M. Dickens

480 pages | 6 x 9
Paper 2017 | ISBN 9780812223965 | $42.50s | Outside the Americas £34.00
Ebook editions are available from selected online vendors
A volume in the series Pennsylvania Studies in Human Rights

"This diverse collection illuminates the innovative thinking of national, regional, and international court decisions on the appropriateness of abortion regulation. It will serve as an important reference for policy makers, advocates, and adjudicators from around the world for years to come."—Louise Arbour, Former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

"By transcending languages and borders, the authors introduce new ways of viewing abortion policy, whether in the European move toward a less punitive, more family-supportive approach, or the promising reforms in Latin America, or the global recognition of clearly defined access to services as essential to realizing rights. Along with its careful attention to how we frame our stories, this collection is essential reading for scholar and activist alike."—R. Alta Charo, University of Wisconsin Law School

"This collection shows the complexity of constitutional regime borrowing and grafting in this fast-moving area of law, with new regulatory modes of abortion unimaginable a few decades ago."—Sujit Choudhry, Dean, School of Law, University of California, Berkeley

It is increasingly implausible to speak of a purely domestic abortion law, as the legal debates around the world draw on precedents and influences of different national and regional contexts. While the United States and Western Europe may have been the vanguard of abortion law reform in the latter half of the twentieth century, Central and South America are proving to be laboratories of thought and innovation in the twenty-first century, as are particular countries in Africa and Asia. Abortion Law in Transnational Perspective offers a fresh look at significant transnational legal developments in recent years, examining key judicial decisions, constitutional texts, and regulatory reforms of abortion law in order to envision ways ahead.

The chapters investigate issues of access, rights, and justice, as well as social constructions of women, sexuality, and pregnancy, through different legal procedures and regimes. They address the promises and risks of using legal procedure to achieve reproductive justice from different national, regional, and international vantage points; how public and courtroom debates are framed within medical, religious, and human rights arguments; the meaning of different narratives that recur in abortion litigation and language; and how respect for women and prenatal life is expressed in various legal regimes. By exploring how legal actors advocate, regulate, and adjudicate the issue of abortion, this timely volume seeks to build on existing developments to bring about change of a larger order.

Contributors: Luis Roberto Barroso, Paola Bergallo, Rebecca J. Cook, Bernard M. Dickens, Joanna N. Erdman, Lisa M. Kelly, Adriana Lamačková, Julieta Lemaitre, Alejandro Madrazo, Charles G. Ngwena, Rachel Rebouché, Ruth Rubio-Marín, Sally Sheldon, Reva B. Siegel, Verónica Undurraga, Melissa Upreti.

Rebecca J. Cook is Professor of Law Emerita and codirector of the International Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Program at the University of Toronto. She is editor of Human Rights of Women: National and International Perspectives and coauthor of Gender Stereotyping: Transnational Legal Perspectives, both available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.

Joanna N. Erdman is Assistant Professor and MacBain Chair in Health Law and Policy in the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University.

Bernard M. Dickens is Professor of Law Emeritus and codirector of the International Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Program at the University of Toronto. He is coauthor of Reproductive Health and Human Rights: Integrating Medicine, Ethics, and Law and Reproductive Health: Case Studies with Ethical Commentary.

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