Brookes 1994 Abortion

Title Information

Authors: Barbara Brookes and Paul Roth

Title: Rex v. Bourne and the medicalization of abortion

Subtitle: -

In: Legal Medicine in History

Edited by: Michael Clark and Catherine Crawford

Place: Cambridge

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Year: 1994

Pages: 314-343

Series: Cambridge History of Medicine

ISBN-10: 0521395143 (hbk.) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat

ISBN-13: 9780521395144 (hbk.) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat | ISBN-13: 9780511599668 (ebk.) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat

Language: English

Keywords: 20th Century | English History | Cases: Victims / Miss H.; Types: Child Sexual Abuse; Victims: Abortion, Girls

Full Text

Link: Cambridge Books Online [Restricted Access]

Link: Google Books [Limited Preview]

Additional Information

Authors: Barbara Brookes, Department of History and Art History, University of Otago

Abstract: »Barbara Brookes and Paul Roth's analysis of the case of Rex v. Bourne (1938) and its significance for the development of modern English abortion law shows not only professional-medical interests working to liberalize the law, but the law itself playing a creative role in the medicalization of this controversial practice. In deliberately inviting prosecution for criminal abortion in a case bound to attrack great public sympathy for the defence, the surgeon Aleck Bourne and his supporters in the Abortion Law Reform Association were seeking clarification of the circumstances in which medical practitioners acting in good faith could legitimately perform abortions. But by making it almost impossible for anyone other than doctors to meet the bona fides requirement for performing an abortion, Mr Justice Macnaghten' judgment in the Bourne case made them virtually the sole legal arbiters in abortion decisions. It thus effectively gave doctors a monopoly on legal abortion – even while failing, as it turned out, to give them the degree of legal protection from criminal prosecution which they had originally sought. In this case it was the law, rather than medical ambitions and strategies, that was ultimateley responsible for the 'medicalization' of what remains, more than fifty years later, a highly sensitive issue.« (Michael Clark and Catherine Crawford. »Introduction.« Legal Medicine in History. Edited by Michael Clark et al. Cambridge 1994: 15)


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Wikipedia: Aleck Bourne

Added: August 2, 2014 | Last updated: August 2, 2014