UNESCO Chair in Bioethics


  • Bioethics and Law Observatory
  • UNESCO Chair in Bioethics
  • University of Barcelona
  • Faculty of Law
  • Ave. Diagonal, 684
  • 08034 Barcelona
  • (+34) 93 403 45 46
  • obd.ub@ub.edu
  • Master in Bioethics and Law
  • (+34) 93 403 45 46
  • master.bd@ub.edu


Call for papers on Political and Legal Strategies for the Legalization of Abortion in Latin America, issue 43 Bioethics and Law Journal


The Bioethics and Law Journal of the University of Barcelona, in collaboration with the Master in Bioethics and Law, announces this call for papers on Political and Legal Strategies for the Legalization of Abortion in Latin America: about the “Belén Case”.

On March, 2017, the Supreme Court of the Province of Tucumán (Argentina) issued a ruling on the "Belén" case, acquitting a woman of the criminal charges brought against her for abortion. This ruling takes over and amplifies the ruling in the 2012 "F.A.L" case in which, for the first time, the Argentina's Supreme Court decided on the constitutionality of abortions performed to protect the life or the health of the gestating woman, or in cases in which the pregnancy was the result of rape.

The intervention of these High Courts in the abortion debate which has been obstructed, for religious and cultural reasons, in Latin American Congresses, reflects a consolidating trend in the region. Indeed, in 2006, Colombia's Constitutional Court ruled on a historic case that reverted the criminalization of all abortion procedures, legalizing the practice in three circumstances. Later in 2007, Mexico's Supreme Court issued a ruling confirming the constitutionality of legal abortions. More recently, in November, 2016, Brazil's Supreme Federal Tribunal issued a ruling which found it unconstitutional to prohibit abortions during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Through these landmark rulings, the Judicial Power has taken an increasingly important role in the fight for the legalization of abortion in Latin American countries. For this reason, in order to reflect on the role of the judicial institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean in the promotion and protection of women's sexual and reproductive rights, we issue this call for collaborations on the following topics:

  • Bioethics, law and legal interruption of pregnancy
  • Abortion, sexual and reproductive rights, and Human Rights
  • Tendencies in jurisprudence regarding the legalization of abortion
  • Political and legal strategies for the legalization of abortion
  • Legislative progress regarding the access to safe abortion procedures

The Journal will accept only original papers written in Spanish, Catalan, French, English, Portuguese or Italian, with a maximum length of 6,000 words, including references, bibliography, tables and graphs. The file must be sent in MS Word format, letter Cambria or Arial 12, double space. Originals must be sent through this link. Articles sent in PDF or through electronic mail will not be considered.

  • Closing date for submissions: March 1st, 2018

The Bioethics and Law Journal is a quarterly publication of the Bioethics and Law Observatory - UNESCO Chair in Bioethics of the University of Barcelona. It is addressed to people interested in bioethics applied to health, food and new technologies, within the framework of respect for Human Rights and with a plural, secular and interdisciplinary approach. Our Journal is indexed in DOAJ, SciELO, Erih Plus, IBECS, Carhus+, Redalyc, Latindex, among other indexes and repositories of recognized quality.