Presentation Title

From Revolution to the Curtailing of Abortion Rights in El Salvador

Location

Guzman 104, Dominican University of California

Start Date

4-17-2019 6:00 PM

Department

Graduate Humanities

Student Type

Graduate

Faculty Mentor(s)

Joan Baranow, PhD

Presentation Format

Oral Presentation

Abstract/Description

Using El Salvador as a case study, this paper examines how women became involved in the revolutionary movement of the late 1970s, and how their political activism continued to evolve from the opportunities that they were offered during the war. Opportunities for increased activism and leadership were groundbreaking for women who were fighting alongside the guerilla armies, allowing women from different classes to ban together against brutal wartime tactics. However, it is perplexing to observe that the most sweeping anti-abortion legislation was codified as part of El Salvador’s Constitution and enforced with fervor in the years following the war. Shifts between religious persuasions were a factor as well as threats to the integrity of the justice system from the rising drug cartels. This paper explores how the anti-abortion sentiments became front and center following the war and how women’s rights to abortion were shut out of the political discourse when a strong anti-abortion movement took hold of El Salvador in the 1990s. This paper will also discuss how abortion continues to this day illegally, and how access to abortion is dependent on a woman’s class and status. Ultimately, the women prosecuted for abortions in El Salvador are mainly accused and convicted of late-term abortions, even when the evidence in the record cannot be conclusively distinguished from the results of a miscarriage. Although El Salvador’s political situation is unique, conclusions can be drawn more broadly as to the implications that can arise when countries ban legal abortions, and the effects that this has on women who are accused and convicted of illegal abortions.

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Apr 17th, 6:00 PM

From Revolution to the Curtailing of Abortion Rights in El Salvador

Guzman 104, Dominican University of California

Using El Salvador as a case study, this paper examines how women became involved in the revolutionary movement of the late 1970s, and how their political activism continued to evolve from the opportunities that they were offered during the war. Opportunities for increased activism and leadership were groundbreaking for women who were fighting alongside the guerilla armies, allowing women from different classes to ban together against brutal wartime tactics. However, it is perplexing to observe that the most sweeping anti-abortion legislation was codified as part of El Salvador’s Constitution and enforced with fervor in the years following the war. Shifts between religious persuasions were a factor as well as threats to the integrity of the justice system from the rising drug cartels. This paper explores how the anti-abortion sentiments became front and center following the war and how women’s rights to abortion were shut out of the political discourse when a strong anti-abortion movement took hold of El Salvador in the 1990s. This paper will also discuss how abortion continues to this day illegally, and how access to abortion is dependent on a woman’s class and status. Ultimately, the women prosecuted for abortions in El Salvador are mainly accused and convicted of late-term abortions, even when the evidence in the record cannot be conclusively distinguished from the results of a miscarriage. Although El Salvador’s political situation is unique, conclusions can be drawn more broadly as to the implications that can arise when countries ban legal abortions, and the effects that this has on women who are accused and convicted of illegal abortions.