“The Struggle against Informal Rules on Abortion in Argentina” by Paola Bergallo

Paola Bergallo,  “The Struggle against Informal Rules on Abortion in Argentina,” Abortion Law in Transnational Perspective: Cases and Controversies, ed. Rebecca J. Cook, Joanna N. Erdman and Bernard M. Dickens (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014), pp. 143-165, notes 415-419. A Spanish edition was published in August, 2016.  Ahora disponible en español.

In this seventh chapter of Abortion Law in Transnational Perspective, Paola Bergallo explores the procedural turn in Argentina through a contest between formal law and informal norms in access to abortion. She recounts how the legal grounds permitting abortions in case of rape and risk for the life or the health of a woman have been continually undermined through the use of informal norms by conservative groups, leading to a de facto total prohibition of the practice. Since 2005, she argues, several initiatives put forward by women’s organizations, the issuance of health regulatory guidelines, and court decisions mandating the supply of legal abortions, have helped to destabilize the total prohibition of the practice reinstating the formal law allowing abortions in the cases mentioned above. Lastly, the chapter explores how the struggle to implement the legal indications for abortion has helped to promote a gradual change in conceptions of the rule of law, revealing a fertile terrain for moving toward decriminalization through the use of the unworkability argument, i.e., that guidelines have not solved the unworkability of regulating abortion through legal grounds.  The chapter concludes that the procedural turn in Argentina may ultimately show its greatest potential in reinforcing the normative claims for decriminalization.

Abortion Law in Transnational Perspective: Cases and Controversies was published in August 2014 by the University of Pennsylvania Press’s Studies in Human Rights Series.   Table of Contents and other information online. A Spanish edition was published in August, 2016.  Ahora disponible en español.

 

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