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Redefining LGBTQ & Abortion Rights in Latin America: A Transnational Toolkit

Updated: May 24, 2020

By: Alyssa Julian



Throughout Latin America, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Queer (LGBTQ) and abortion rights movements have progressed at divergent strengths and speeds, with significant variation among countries. The region is home to some of the most restrictive and discriminatory laws when it comes to these contentious issues.


This Note explores some of the reasons behind the variation in LGBTQ and abortion rights throughout the region. This Note traces the economic and political history of Latin America to illustrate the climate in which these social movements are operating. Further, this Note offers a brief snapshot of recent global developments in LGBTQ and abortion rights, paying close attention to how the United Nations and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights define and protect said rights. This Note provides a case study on the LGBTQ and abortion rights movements within Argentina, Uruguay, and El Salvador because these countries exemplify the immense variation in laws concerning LGBTQ rights and reproductive rights throughout Latin America. By extrapolating lessons from each country, this Note creates a “transnational toolkit” for law and policy change, which can be adopted and adapted to fit each country’s unique socioeconomic and political climate. If applied effectively, the toolkit can help bring abortion rights up to speed with LGBTQ rights in Latin America and establish uniformity in human rights across the region.

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