International Human Rights Law and Abortion in Latin America

Latin America is home to some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world. While only three countries—Chile, El Salvador, and the Dominican Republic—provide no exceptions or extenuating circumstances for the criminal sanctions on abortion, in most countries and jurisdictions, exceptions are provided only when necessary to save the pregnant woman’s life and in certain other narrowly defined circumstances. Even where abortion is not punished by law, women often have severely limited access because of lack of proper regulation and political will.