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The Reforms and Their Roots

The Reforms and Their Roots

(p.34) (p.35) Two The Reforms and Their Roots
Doctors and Demonstrators
Drew Halfmann
University of Chicago Press

This chapter describes the reforms involving medical gatekeeping done in the United States, Britain, and Canada in more detail and explains the differences between them by showing how social actors—social movements and political parties—interacted with political institutions such as state-level policy making, nonpartisan parliamentary processes, and constitutional courts. The three countries mentioned here answered the gatekeeping question differently. The United States largely abandoned medical gatekeeping, allowing early abortion for a woman’s own reasons and in any setting as long as a single doctor agreed to provide it. The other two countries, on the other hand, maintained medical gatekeeping. Britain widened the grounds for legal abortions, while Canadian reform allowed abortions only for grounds of “health” and required that they be provided in hospitals after approval by a committee.

Keywords:   medical gatekeeping, United States, Britain, Canada, social actors, political institutions, early abortion, legal abortions

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