A region with some of the world’s most restrictive abortion laws has started to tentatively move in the opposite direction
By Emiliano Rodríguez Mega
on January 4, 2022
As the U.S. braces for the possible rollback of abortion rights later this year, seismic shifts are happening south of the border. A series of recent legal and legislative decisions has begun to loosen restrictions in Latin America, a region with some of the world’s harshest antiabortion laws. And they could chart a path toward reform for governments that still advocate for the procedure to remain illegal. The health and economic consequences of keeping longtime bans in place may provide cautionary lessons for the U.S. as a Supreme Court decision to scrap Roe v. Wade appears to be imminent.
El Salvador has stood out for its aggressive pursuit of pregnant people who seek an abortion or have a miscarriage. Since 1998 the country has upheld a total ban on abortion, even in cases of rape, incest and high-risk pregnancy. As a result, about 181 women were prosecuted between 2000 and 2019 for getting an abortion or suffering an obstetric emergency, according to data compiled by a human rights group.
New Bid to Legalize Abortion in Argentina, With President’s Backing
Activists came close in 2018. This year, President Alberto Fernández is on their side and is expected to present a legalization bill to Congress.
By Daniel Politi
Feb. 22, 2020
BUENOS AIRES — Abortion rights activists in Argentina have formally started the second round in their effort to advance reproductive rights in the land of Pope Francis, buoyed by the hope that the country’s transformed political landscape will put their goal within reach.
Two years ago, activists organized a powerful grass-roots movement that helped persuade the lower house of Congress to vote in favor of legalizing abortion, but the Senate narrowly voted down the bill.
They Lost Argentina’s Abortion Vote, but Advocates Started a Movement
By Daniel Politi and Ernesto Londoño
Aug. 9, 2018
BUENOS AIRES — They narrowly lost the vote. But as supporters of a bill to legalize abortion in Argentina began to shake off a stinging defeat in the Senate on Thursday, they took consolation in having galvanized a reproductive-rights movement across Latin America and began to consider how to redirect their activism.
A coalition of young female lawmakers who stunned the political establishment by putting abortion rights at the top of the legislative agenda this year seemed to be on the verge of a historic victory with the bill. But intense lobbying by Catholic Church leaders and staunch opposition in conservative northern provinces persuaded enough senators to vote against it.
ARGENTINA – What’s been happening since the abortion law reform bill was tabled
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Mar 27, 2018
The tabling of the bill drafted by the Campaña por el Derecho al Aborto Legal, Seguro y Gratuito took place on 6 March in the lower House of the Argentine Congress.
Mariana Romero of Centro de Estudios de Estado y Sociedad (CEDES) writes: “I was inside the Chamber that day. There were 116 representatives at the ‘informative session’ in which the process of consideration of this bill and several others that were tabled at the same time was presented. Of the 116 representatives present in the Chamber, 102 of them belong to one of the three Committees that will take evidence from “experts” and will vote on whether to take one or more bills to the full Chamber, as outlined below. The methodology for this process was presented, and it seems transparent. All in all, it was a very good day. For sure, the situation is new, and we have two months to lobby those who do not know how they are going to vote.”