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Abortion in Canada: A Boltanskian Reading of a Polarized Debate

Daigle Julie

Taking up the typology developed in Luc Boltanski’s book, La condition foetale: une sociologie de l’engendrement et de l’avortement (2004), we will show that Canada’s Supreme Court rulings reveal certain antagonistic conceptions of the beings that grow within women’s bodies. When we consider majority rulings against minority rulings, we see that the greater the sensitivity towards the fetus, the more polarized judges’ positions become. The refusal to democratize the question of abortion by officially opening this debate in the House of Commons is examined in light of this observation