Abortion: Women's Rights
Abortion in Latin America presents an awkward paradox. The rate of abortion is the world’s highest —31 for every 1,000 women aged 15 to 45 years, according to a 2007 World Health Organization (WHO) report. Yet abortion is illegal in most countries in Latin America. Even in cases where it is permitted, legal restrictions far outstrip those of any other region.
The Catholic Church has been a key player in the debate, but surprisingly its influence has been mixed. In small countries the church has been successful in helping to usher in far-reaching restrictions, while in the region’s most populous countries—Colombia, Mexico and Brazil—its influence has not stopped more progressive laws or their liberal interpretation...