Morning-After Decisions: Legal Mobilization Against Emergency Contraception in Chile
Author(s)León, Fernando Muñoz
Food and Drug Law
Morning after pill
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AbstractIn Chile, the Criminal Code bans all forms of abortion. Furthermore, the Constitution—drafted and enacted by the Military Junta led by General Augusto Pinochet—was inspired by a conservative version of Catholic natural law championed by prominent Chilean constitutional law scholars. This Article traces the emergence, development, and ultimately the defeat of a persistent legal mobilization driven by natural law-inspired litigants, politicians, and scholars against levonorgestrel-based emergency contraception, also known as the morning-after pill. In their decade-long efforts at legal mobilization, these natural law litigants used every tool of the Chilean legal system to challenge the legality and the constitutionality of the morning-after pill. This case of legal mobilization demonstrates both the strengths and the weaknesses of conservative political and religious networks in Latin America, and it demonstrates both the potential and limitations of litigation-led policymaking in civil law countries.