Chapter 20: Engendering democracy and rights: the legalization of abortion in Argentina
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This chapter discusses the example of conquering abortion righs in Argentina. Beginning with the transition to democracy, the chapter first traces shifts in political and institutional changes; key judicial decisions as well as legal reforms; and the construction of relations among traditional feminist organizations, health professionals and other actors, including key politicians and human rights groups as welll as labor movements. The second part of the chapter focuses on the years s ince 2005 with respect to the reconfiguration of actors and the embedding of abortion in public debates beyond state institutions. The new law is the culmination of a process in which ideas of rights have been adapted and recreated, in which rights have been used as as way to resist background and negative informal rules that imposed de facto criminalization, and in which rights shaped a new consciousness among women in Argentine society. The Argentine case illustrates the importance of the constructivist and recursive nature of using rights to advance abortion access, whereby national actors interacted with and adapted ‘universal’ concepts under international law, and in turn have nourished the development of international standards.

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