Today in the Ongoing War Against Women in Latin America: Honduras

Honduras’s Congress is debating a bill “that would send women to jail if they use the morning-after pill — even for victims of sexual assault. If it were to pass, the law would be part of a trend of laws in the region more broadly that are a direct assault on women’s freedom. Other recent laws that directly assault women’s rights include Brazilian courts ruling that sex with 12-year-old girls does not constitute statutory rape, Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega banning all abortions and downgrading rape to a crime of passion and the Chilean Senate recently refusing to decriminalize abortion even in cases of saving the mother’s life or of severe deformation of the fetus.

(Via Erik.)

About Colin M. Snider

I have a Ph.D. in history, specializing in Latin American History and Comparative Indigenous History. My dissertation focused on Brazil. Beyond Latin America generally, I'm particularly interested in class identities, military politics, human rights, labor, education, music, and nation. I can be found on Twitter at @ColinMSnider.
This entry was posted in Abortion, Chile, Honduras, Nicaragua, Women's Movements & Issues, Women's Rights. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Today in the Ongoing War Against Women in Latin America: Honduras

  1. Shawn says:

    Colin, should we be surprised by these trends? (This is a sincere question). When I consider Mala Htun’s work, Sex and the State, which shows that during the 70s and 80s several bureaucratic authoritarian regimes “modernized” their constitutions and civil codes to provided many rights for women denied them since the nineteenth centuries, I wonder what factors influence these trends.

  2. I don’t know if we should be surprised necessarily, especially given that this isn’t a Latin America-only thing (see: state efforts in the United States to restrict access to abortion as much as possible, eliminate equal pay laws for women who work as public employees in Wisconsin, define single parenting as responsible for child abuse [also in Wisconsin], and even ban pre-marital hand-holding in Tennessee). I agree with you and Htun that the modernization did to some extent happen, though with limits (still no divorce in Chile, and it was Brazil’s first Protestant president/dictator who pushed it through in the 1970s), but I think those moments are actually the exceptional ones in the long duree. This trend is upsetting, but in many ways reverts to state patriarchy denying basic rights to women, a process that we can trace back to the immediate post-independence period in many ways. Put another way – banning abortion, reducing women’s rights, etc. is just a modern form of a longer and older process of denying basic rights to women in the region since independence.

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