Background Paper (Executive Summary): Women’s Reproductive Health, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and the Canada Health Act


This Executive Summary of a 1989 background paper released by the Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women (CACSW)/Conseil consultatif canadien sur la situation de la femme (CCCSF) was prepared by Sheilah Martin, law professor at the University of Calgary. It notes that the research reviews the legal controls on women’s reproduction and uncovers a pattern of special regulation under which certain aspects of women’s reproductive health care are treated differently from other medically necessary services. This create a problem timely availability of publicly funded reproductive health-care services. The paper argues that a number of arguments can be raised against the federal government to promote compliance with the criteria of the Canada Health Act, including a Charter-based challenge.