Cet été, le Centre Paul-André Crépeau de droit privé et comparé tiendra une série de séminaires d’été auxquels toute la communauté de la Faculté de droit est invitée à prendre part. Le but principal de ce séminaire d’été est d’offrir un forum aux jeunes chercheurs pour présenter leurs idées et débattre de celle d’autres chercheurs dans un cadre informel.
Boissons froides et biscuits seront servis.
Conférencière: Lisa Kelly, Faculty of Law, Harvard University
Titre: Narrating Innocent Suffering in Abortion Law
Résumé (en anglais seulement): Over the past decade, reproductive rights advocates have pursued a series of lawful abortion access cases from Latin America before the United Nations and Inter-American human rights systems. These cases have met with resounding legal success. Advocates celebrate these decisions as important victories for the advancement of abortion rights in international human rights law. In this presentation, I offer a more ambivalent reading of these cases, however, specifically of how they narrate abortion and sexuality. All but one of these claims has involved rape, and all but one has concerned minors. I identify in these cases a recurring narrative of innocent suffering: an adolescent girl, figured often as a child, is raped, becomes pregnant, and with the support of her parents seeks to terminate the pregnancy. This narrative proves powerful but also perilous for abortion rights advocates. Cases involving adolescent rape and parental beneficence resonate powerfully with publics and with legal decision-makers. And yet by narrating sympathetic cases likely to secure greater support for abortion access, advocates risk reinforcing narrow conceptions of the reasonable or deserved abortion. Thus, narratives of innocent suffering can sustain lines of argument and (re)produce legal rules that undercut the very emancipatory goals of the reproductive rights movement.