By Mariel Yacolca Maguina
Feb 11, 2023
Until 2019, abortions weren’t widely legal anywhere in Latin America except for Cuba and Uruguay; whereas, in the United States, Roe v. Wade widely legalized abortions throughout the country in 1973. Within the last two years, however, countries in Latin America made advances in reproductive rights while the U.S. became increasingly restrictive and finally overturned Roe v. Wade in the Dobbs v. Jackson case. How have the United States and Latin America diverged in their approach to reproductive rights?
In 2015, Argentinian feminists marched with the slogan #NiUnaMenos [“Not one (woman) less”] and started demanding action against gender-based violence and for the end to abortion restrictions. In order to obtain support from the population, #NiUnaMenos framed the issue of abortion as a social justice problem that disproportionally affected low-income women who could not afford safe illegal abortions and often died during clandestine procedures. According to The Economist, upper and middle-class women could get safe illegal abortions by taking misoprostol, which cost about 112 USD, or a surgical abortion which cost 1000 USD. If there were complications, wealthy women could access private healthcare; whereas, low-income women had to seek aid at public hospitals, where the staff was likely to report them.