Constitutional Developments in Latin American Abortion Law

Congratulations to two Argentine scholars,  Paola Bergallo and Agustina Ramón Michel, who recently co-authored a useful article in the Legal and Ethical Issues section of the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics.

Paola Bergallo and Agustina Ramón Michel, “Constitutional Developments in Latin American Abortion Law,”  International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics 135 (2016) 228–231.   PDF online here.

Abstract: For most of the 20th century, restrictive abortion laws were in place in continental Latin America. In recent years, reforms have caused a liberalizing shift, supported by constitutional decisions of the countries’ high courts. The present article offers an overview of the turn toward more liberal rules and the resolution of abortion disputes by reference to national constitutions. For such purpose, the main legal changes of abortion laws in the last decade are first surveyed. Landmark decisions of the high courts of Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, and Mexico are then analyzed. It is shown that courts have accepted the need to balance interests and competing rights to ground less restrictive laws. In doing so, they have articulated limits to protection of fetal interests, and basic ideas of women’s dignity, autonomy, and equality. The process of constitutionalization has only just begun. Constitutional judgments are not the last word, but they are important contributions in reinforcing the legality of abortion.   Full text online through SSRN

Further reading

“Abortion,” by Paola Bergallo & Agustina Ramón Michel, Chapter 3 in  The Latin American casebook: Courts, constitutions and rights, ed. Juan F. Gonzalez-Bertomeu and Roberto Gargarella (Routledge, 2016).  Latin American casebook .

“The Constititutionalization of Abortion,” by Reva Siegel, in Abortion Law in Transnational Perspective: Cases and Controversies (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014) 13-35.  English bookLibro en español.

La constitucionalización del aborto y sus encuadres en las altas cortes de América Latina,por Paola Bergallo & Agustina Ramón Michel, “constitucionalización,”

“Interpretando derechos: La otra legalización del aborto en América Latina.” por Paola Bergallo, Capitulo 7 en Debates y Reflexiones en torno a la despenalización del aborto en Chile, Lidia Casas y Delfina Lawson. Ediciones Lon, Santiago de Chile, 2016. “Interpretando”,    Debates y Reflexiones – PDF Book .

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