Invoking health and human rights to ensure access to legal abortion: the case of a nine-year-old girl from Nicaragua

Heathe Luz McNaughton Reyes, Charlotte E Hord, Ellen M H Mitchell, Marta Maria Blandon

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-article

Abstract

Human rights and public health advocates working to compel states to guarantee access to legal abortion services face obstacles. We describe the challenges faced by "Rosa", a nine-year old Nicaraguan girl, whose pregnancy following rape sparked international controversy. The health and human rights arguments utilized either to support or undermine her family's petition for access to legal abortion are explored. Rosa's case highlights how laws that narrowly restrict abortion and make access contingent upon health care providers' approval undermine human rights principles. The article analyzes the strengths, limitations, and complementarity of health and human rights approaches for achieving access to safe, legal services in restrictive contexts. The importance of strategic alliances and implications for future cases are considered.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHealth and Human Rights
Volume9
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)62-86
Number of pages25
ISSN1079-0969
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Keywords

  • Abortion, Legal/legislation & jurisprudence
  • Child
  • Child Welfare/legislation & jurisprudence
  • Emigration and Immigration
  • Health Policy/legislation & jurisprudence
  • Health Services Accessibility/legislation & jurisprudence
  • Human Rights/legislation & jurisprudence
  • Humans
  • Nicaragua
  • Organizations/legislation & jurisprudence
  • Public Health/legislation & jurisprudence
  • Rape

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