Abortion Rights in Latin America

Abortion Rights in Latin America

Wednesday 24 May 2023
Wed, 2023-05-24 17:00 - 18:30
  • Protesters pro-life in San Salvador on 31 May 2013. (c)Reuters/UlisesRodriguezProtesters pro-life in San Salvador on 31 May 2013. (c)Reuters/UlisesRodriguez

#JusticiaparaBeatriz: Abortion Rights in El Salvador and Latin America


Wednesday 24 May 2023, 17:00-18:30

Salle H101, 28 rue des Saints-Pères

Registration is compulsory:


In El Salvador, abortion is criminalized since 1988. In March this year, the Inter-American Court of Human rights has started public hearings in the Beatriz case, a young woman who was denied abortion even though her life was at risk and her pregnancy non-viable. The Beatriz case is a historical event that has the potential to change the lives of millions of Latin American women: if the Court determines that the State of El Salvador has violated the human rights of Beatriz, including her rights to life, a human treatment, judicial protection and health, the judgment could have ripple effects throughout the continent and force Latin American governments to end the criminalization of abortion. 

This event will feature Morena Herrera, recipient of the Prix Simone Veil of the French Republic in 2023 for her fight for abortion rights and one of the main activists defending Beatriz before the Court, who will join via zoom from El Salvador. The discussion will highlight the lack of access to reproductive rights of women in El Salvador and Latin America, where the criminalization of abortion is one of the most extreme in the world, and how the Inter-American Court of Human Rights has responded to various controversies.

The event will take place in English and Spanish, with simultaneous translation to English.

The event will be hybrid: the audience is welcome to attend either in-person on campus or online via zoom. Registration is compulsory in both cases.



Morena Herrera (via zoom)

Morena Herrera is a feminist and activist committed to defending women's rights. She participes in different local and national organizations and regional networks that defend human rights, especially of women, youth and LGBTIQ people. She is a founding member of "Las Dignas" and a member of the Colectiva Feminista para el Desarrollo Local (Feminist Collective for Local Development) where she currently coordinates training and knowledge management processes. She also founded and chairs the Agrupación Ciudadana por la Despenalización del Aborto (Citizen's Group for the Decriminalization of Abortion), which defends women criminalized and convicted for obstetric emergencies. From 1975 to 1992, she was active in social and insurgent movements of the rural guerrilla during the Armed Conflict and is currently a member of the Association of Women War Veterans. Morena is a member of the Board of Directors of the Regional Fund of ECLAC in support of women's and feminist organizations. She holds a PhD in Ibero-American Philosophy from the José Simón Cañas Central American University UCA and a Master's Degree in Gender Relations from the University of Gerona, Spain. 

Virginia Roque Aguilar

Virginia Roque Aguilar is an environmental activist, an ecofeminist, a singer and an actress. She participates in the Citizen Movement in Defense of Tacushcalco and Rio Ceniza for the protection of the Sacred Site of the Nahuilingo Peoples and was instrumental in the signing of the Escazú Agreement, a regional agreement for the protection of environmental defenders in Latin America and the Caribbean. Currently, she is part of the Ecofeminist Movement, where she seeks to make visible the poisoning of the Lempa River due to cross-border mining from Guatemala and is part of RAMA (Rescate al Medio Ambiente), a Salvadoran NGO dedicated to projects that mitigate Climate Change. Virginia was nominated as one of the laureates of the  Marianne Initiative for Human Rights Defenders in 2023, an initiative launched by President Emmanuel Macron to support and protect human rights defenders. 

Luis Rivera-Vélez (via zoom)

Luis Rivera-Vélez is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Lausanne. He studies policymaking processes around controversial issues, such as abortion and LGBTQI+ issues in Latin America. 


Delphine O

Delphine O teaches a course on Gender Equality in International relations at PSIA. She is ambassador for gender equality at the Ministry of European and Foreign Affairs. As the Secretary General for the Generation Equality Forum, she led the organization of the largest international summit for women’s rights since 1995, convened by UN Women and co-chaired by France and Mexico. She was previously a Member of Parliament. As a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, she chaired the France-Iran friendship group and authored a report on the strategic stakes in the South China Sea. Delphine O graduated from the Ecole Normale Supérieure and the Harvard Kennedy School. She is a French-American Young Leader 2019, Munich Young Leader 2019, member of the Council at the Council on Foreign Relations, member of the Strategic Orientation Board of the German Marshall Fund France and a board member of IRIS (Institut des Relations Internationales et Stratégiques).

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