The compensation of wrongful pregnancy in Quebec civil law

Authors: Langevin, Louise
Abstract: The Supreme Court of Canada has recognized the right to reproductive autonomy for women based on the right to liberty protected by section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Thus, it is a woman's choice whether to have children. It follows, therefore, that in the case of a violation of her reproductive autonomy, a woman has a right to compensation. It is in light of these principles that I analyze the wrongful pregnancy cases in Québec civil law. From a feminist analytical framework, I posit that Québec courts have effectively denied women the right to reproductive autonomy by awarding compensation for the cost of child-rearing only in cases where a difficult economic situation is evidenced by the parents. In so doing, the courts have not only refused to fully compensate women for the injuries caused to them, but they continue to reproduce the dominant pronatalist ideology in reproductive matters. This judicial reaction to cases of wrongful pregnancy is another example of the gendered dimension of law.
Document Type: Article de recherche
Issue Date: 1 January 1999
Open Access Date: Restricted access
Document version: VoR
This document was published in: Revue canadienne droit et société, Vol. 14 (1), 61-82 (Spring/printemps 1999)
Canadian Law and Society Association
Alternative version: 10.1017/S0829320100005937
Collection:Articles publiés dans des revues avec comité de lecture

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