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Laws Affecting Abortion

Category:LEGISLATION
Sub-Category: ROYAL COMMISSION
Resolution Number:600.70.2
Club:Toronto
Province:Ontario
Year:1962
Status:Resolved
Reaffirmed:
Comments:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Canadian Federation request the Federal Government to establish a Royal Commission to inquire into and report on the laws in Canada affecting abortion, and to recommend clarification and amendments to bring these laws into conformity with the realities of Canadian life.I.Abortion is dealt with under the following Sections of the Criminal Code:a) Section 209 - Murder, Manslaughter and Infanticide:(1) Everyone who causes the death of a child that has not become a human being, in such manner that if the child were a human being he would be guilty of murder, is guilty of an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for life.(2) This Section does not apply to a person who, by means that, in good faith, he considers necessary to preserve the life of the mother of the child that has not become a human being, causes the death of the child.b) Section 237 - Abortion:(1) Everyone who, with intent to procure the miscarriage of a female person, whether or not she is pregnant, uses any means for the purpose of carrying out his intention is guilty of an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for life.(2) Every female person who, being pregnant, with intent to procure her own miscarriage, uses any means or permits any means to be used for the purpose of carrying out her intention, is guilty of an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for two years.II Section 209 (2) is a saving section and provides a defense available to the medical practitioner who acts in good faith to preserve the life of the mother, from the penalty of Section 208 (1). Section 237 has not saving sections, thus the two Sections are inconsistent, This places an intolerable burden on the doctor who must decide, sometimes in a matter of minutes, whether or not to try to save the life of his patient by performing the abortion, a decision which may bring him ruin and a term in penitentiary.III. Some doctors and others suggest legalizing the following as therapeutic abortions": severe heart disease, serious hypertension or kidney disease, malignant disease of the genital tract, certain genetic considerations (such as suffering German measles in early stages of pregnancy which may cause blindness in the child), and psychiatric conditions in which category pregnancies resulting from certain unlawful acts of sexual intercourse might be classed. Such unlawful acts are cited in the following Sections of the Criminal Code: 135, 138, 140, 142, 143, 144, 184, 234, and include rape, incest, seduction and abduction."

 

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Article ID: 1015