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Abortion : A Controversial Ethical, Legal And Public Health Issue

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Whether or not abortion should be restricted in the law is a controversial ethical, legal and public health issue that affects us all. While some countries have a legal restriction on abortion, Canada has no legal constraints: abortion is regulated and determined by the health act. Liberalization movements of abortion laws in Canada started in the 1960s by both feminist groups and the medical profession. This was found necessary to address the rise in mortality rates of pregnant women. A provincial chief coroners inquest into the deaths of women who received botched abortion revealed that this was a federal issue, and in 1968-69 a bill was introduced that removed the abortion ban, and made homosexuality and contraception legal. This was Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s famous statement comes in. The decision of abortion is left to the doctor and the woman, with no legal specifications to define when abortion care is determined necessary (i.e., to save a mother’s life or in the case of rape). It is a decision based on the physical and mental wellbeing of the women made with a medical professional. This subject was taught in detail in grade-11 history class.

Abortion was not just a historical issue, but a living issue too. In my early teens, I remember political debates during the elections in the late 1980s: although the three parties had different views on the issue, neither created an actual platform for discussion or debate. It was assumed by all that abortion is a
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