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Misconceptions about Western Family Law (03:44)

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The 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade did not settle the abortion issue by declaring it to be a Constitutional right. Harvard law professor Mary Ann Glendon says Americans can learn a lot from the abortion and divorce laws of other countries

Conflicting Values (02:38)

European law typically permits abortion in the first 12 weeks after a brief waiting period. It is common for women to be given information on alternative choices. The U.S. Supreme Court has called these impermissible interferences with freedom of choice.

Legal Norms with Diverse Population (02:43)

Some of the strongest opponents of abortion in the U.S. also oppose social programs to support needy families. European countries like Sweden allow abortions, but at the same time encourage alternatives through social policy.

Sex Education and Birth Control (01:53)

Harvard law professor Mary Ann Glendon found very little correlation between lenient abortion law and high abortion rates. In one decade Sweden dramatically reduced its teenage pregnancy rate and its teenage abortion rate.

Reason for Ongoing Abortion Debate (03:47)

In the late 19th century legislators started passing social legislation. In the U.S. Supreme Courts intervened. Harvard law professor Mary Ann Glendon says there is no firm Constitutional mooring for Roe v. Wade.

No Fault Divorce (03:27)

Harvard law professor Mary Ann Glendon explains why divorce and abortion rates are linked. In the U.S. one may free themselves from the economic responsibilities associated with marriage and child support. This is not the case in Europe.

Where are Women Better Off? (02:00)

Harvard law professor Mary Ann Glendon says American woman have greater individual rights, but European women are more protected in the areas of procreation and motherhood.

Abortion and Sanctity of Life (02:21)

Harvard law professor Mary Ann Glendon says there is not a place in the U.S. for Christian socialists. Unlike in the U.S., capitalism in Europe is moderated by classical notions of responsibilities to society.

Motives in Abortion Debate (03:54)

Harvard law professor Mary Ann Glendon sees a dark side to pro-choice and pro-life movements. Vigorously promoting individual rights shapes society in unintended ways. Roe v. Wade does not take moral complexities into consideration.

Credits: Abortion and Divorce in Western Law: Mary Ann Glendon (01:30)

Credits: Abortion and Divorce in Western Law: Mary Ann Glendon

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Abortion and Divorce in Western Law: Mary Ann Glendon


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Description

All laws tell stories, says Harvard law professor Mary Ann Glendon—stories about who we are, where we came from, where we are going, and what we value. Can Americans learn something from the abortion and divorce laws of other countries? Glendon says we have a lot to learn, and that it may surprise us. Glendon, whose field is comparative law, found her own assumptions challenged when she started the research for her prize-winning book, Abortion and Divorce in Western Law, which contrasts the legal practices of Europe and America as they bear on the difficult choices of these controversial issues. In this program with Bill Moyers, Glendon talks about family issues on both sides of the Atlantic. (30 minutes)

Length: 28 minutes

Item#: BVL4954

Copyright date: ©1988

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Only available in USA and Canada.


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