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    Social Consensus, Democratic Conflict The Debate On The Decriminalisation Of Abortion In Uruguay, IDS Bulletin, 39.3

    Since the restoration of democracy to Uruguay in 1985, every year has seen initiatives to decriminalize abortions. Strong support and public awareness focussing on women’s rights and personal freedom by advocacy groups has bolstered public opinion in support of woman’s choice from 25 per cent to 65 per cent, between 1985 and 2007. Despite this wave of grassroots support, powerful politicians remain wedded to more conservative values, managing to defeat every decriminalization bill presented to date. But the increasing environment of democratization and support for rights and choice, buttressed by a wide range of civil society actors, including advocacy groups, CBOs, academics and politicians, may provide sufficient pressure that the government accepts the newest bill on the Defence on the Right to Sexual and Reproductive Health. …

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    Unsafe Abortion: A Development Issue, IDS Bulletin 39.3

    Abortion has become an ever more controversial issue, provoking strong reactions both ‘for’ and ‘against’. Language used in disputes over whether or not women should have access to safe and legal abortion indicates just how polarised debates have become: pro-choice versus pro-life; pro-abortion versus anti-choice. As the anti-abortion agenda has become coupled with other conservative agendas, such as ‘pro-abstinence’, ‘pro-chastity’ and ‘anti-contraception’, an increasingly assertive movement has evolved. The extension of these conservative forces to parts of the world where thousands of women die every year because they were unable to access safe abortion and protect themselves from HIV infection, has turned this polarized dispute into an urgent development issue. …