Luisa Cabal, Monica Arango Olaya, Valentina Montoya Robledo

Health and Human Rights 2014, 16/2

Conscientious Objection or conscientious refusal (CO) in access to reproductive health care is at the center of current legal debates worldwide. In countries such as the US and the UK, constitutional dilemmas surrounding CO in the context of reproductive health services reveal inadequate policy frameworks for balancing CO rights with women’s rights to access contraception and abortion. The Colombian Constitutional Court’s holistic jurisprudence regarding CO standards has applied international human rights norms so as to not only protect women’s reproductive rights as fundamental rights, but to also introduce clear limits for the exercise of CO in health care settings. This paper reviews Latin American lines of regulation in Argentina, Uruguay, and Mexico City to argue that the Colombian Court’s jurisprudence offers a strong guidance for future comprehensive policy approaches that aim to effectively balance tensions between CO and women’s reproductive rights.

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