Abortion in International Human Rights Law: Missed Opportunities in Manuela v El Salvador

Smyth, Rebecca (2023) Abortion in International Human Rights Law: Missed Opportunities in Manuela v El Salvador. Feminist Legal Studies. ISSN 1572-8455

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The Inter-American Court of Human Rights’ judgment in Manuela and Others v El Salvador represents a missed opportunity for advancing abortion access and sexual and reproductive health and rights in international human rights law (IHRL). Even though this case is representative of the multiple human right violations arising from El Salvador’s complete criminalisation of abortion and active prosecution of those suspected of having had the procedure, the Court shied away from engaging in a critique of El Salvador’s abortion legislation. Instead, it focused on issues relating to pre-trial detention, due process, and medical confidentiality. Despite growing consensus in IHRL that abortion must be decriminalised at a minimum in certain circumstances; indications that the inter-American human rights system subscribes to this position; and extensive evidence that El Salvador’s abortion legislation is resulting in human rights violations, the Court failed to use this judgment to articulate a clear and assertive position on the need for abortion access to realise sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10691-022-09510-9
13 December 2022Accepted
15 March 2023Published Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: abortion, El Salvador, Inter-American Court of Human Rights, International human rights law, sexual and reproductive health and rights
Subjects: CAH16 - law > CAH16-01 - law > CAH16-01-01 - law
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > School of Law
Depositing User: Gemma Tonks
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2023 15:07
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2023 15:07
URI: https://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/14264

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