Privacy and the Body: Privacy International’s response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s attack on reproductive rights
The relationship between privacy and access to abortion care In 1973, in the state of Texas, it was a criminal offence to "procure or attempt" an abortion except if the purpose was "saving the life of the mother." "The Court finally recognised that the promise of liberty and equality for all, as guaranteed by the U.S constitution, would never be fulfilled for anyone who has the capacity to become pregnant in the absence of fundamental rights which shield the private sphere of reproductive autonomy from government control. This significant question mark is what led to anguished battles over issues relating to contraception, abortion, homosexuality, the "right to die" and other volatile subjects. The hospital cited the fact that to do so would be a punishable criminal offence. The majority in Dobbs argued that reproductive rights, and specifically, the right to access safe and legal abortions, should be carved out of the constitutional protections for fundamental-decision privacy. Indeed, the ruling goes as far as to suggest a new definition of privacy. Abortion as a key component of the right to privacy The decision in Dobbs thus weakens the fundamental rights to liberty and privacy for people in the U.S., while also widening and deepening the gap between fundamental rights in the U.S. and international human rights law. By way of example, the overlap of the right to privacy and access to safe abortion care was re-stated by the UNHRC as recently as 2017. In two separate landmark decisions, the UNHRC concluded that there had been an interference with the claimants’ right to privacy because the State party had prevented the women from terminating their pregnancies in Ireland. This interference was unreasonable and arbitrary, and therefore unjustified. These reflections could easily apply to individuals seeking to cross state lines to procure abortion care in the United States. Article 16(e) specifically protects women’s and girls’ sexual and reproductive freedom. The European Court of Human Rights ("ECtHR") has also approached abortion cases from a privacy perspective, and has made it clear that the human right to privacy, "is a broad concept which encompasses, inter alia, the right to personal autonomy ( ) (and ) concerns subjects such as gender identification, sexual orientation and sexual life, (and ) a person’s physical and psychological integrity, as well as decisions both to have and not to have a child or to become genetic parents" (A, B, and C v. Ireland, para. The ECtHR also asserts that "the decision of a pregnant woman to continue her pregnancy or not belongs to the sphere of private life and autonomy" (R. R. v. Poland, para. It is noteworthy that the ECtHR does not recognise a right to abortion.
Read full article here:
(warning: ads & trackers)
This news aggregator is non-commercial and provided
as a public service by the Magnusson Institute,
a Nevada 501(c)(3) non-profit. All articles
and images are copyright of their respective