My Body, Your Decision? The Legitimacy of the Abortion Spousal Consent Clause in Taiwan
Under the Criminal Code of the Republic of China, abortions are considered as criminal offences. However, women may be exempted from criminal liability if the conditions set forth in the exception clauses provided in Article 9 of the Genetic Health Act are met. Although the Act acknowledges women’s autonomy to decide over their own bodies, the provision still requires married women who seek for abortion with the reason of “pregnancy or childbirth is likely to affect their mental health or family life” to acquire the consent of their spouse prior to receiving the treatment. This study shall reference the relevant US Supreme Court cases to examine the adequacy of enacting the spousal consent clause. With the goal to assess and clarify the legitimacy of incorporating the spousal consent clause, this study shall also analyze the legislative history and judicial decisions in Taiwan over the enactment and implementation of the spousal consent clause.