By Cristina Gutierrez
NEW YORK, August 4 (C-FAM) Western governments are pressuring Latin American countries to liberalize their abortion laws, by using a new UN human rights process called the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).
El Salvador, Costa Rica, Chile, Brazil, Bolivia, Belize, and Argentina are among the top countries recently pressured via the UPR process, as European countries recommend that these nations amend their laws concerning the “rights” to abortion and contraception.
The UPR involves an interactive dialogue among the delegations of different States concerning the human rights situations in a particular country, sometimes leading to delegations directly suggesting that a sovereign State modify its national laws to comply with their recommendations.
During the last three years, many European countries have been mainly focusing on Latin American countries. The primary concern seems to center around controversial sexual and reproductive health issues that European countries treat as rights, and interpreting these rights to include abortion. Pressuring these countries to adopt their belief that abortion is an international human right, they persistently recommend that failure to provide access to abortion under their national laws is a violation of international human rights law.
Luxemburg has recently urged El Salvador to “improve access for women to sexual and reproductive health rights and services”, while the United Kingdom demands that Costa Rica “…provide women with adequate information on how to access [services] and medical care, including permitted abortion,” and Sweden recommends that Chile further “efforts to ensure that the abortion laws are brought into line with Chile’s human rights obligations.”
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