Faculty Project: Remobilization, Demobilization, and Incarceration: Women and Abortion in Post-war El Salvador
Chair, DRCLAS Central America & the Caribbean Faculty Committee
Remobilization, Demobilization, and Incarceration: Women and Abortion in Post-war El Salvador
This is a new project that examines how the revolutionary left in El Salvador has renounced its previous pro-feminist policies to embrace a new movement for the increasing criminalization of abortion in El Salvador. At present, abortion in El Salvador has been criminalized to such an extent that doctors will allow the fallopian tubes to explode when a woman in El Salvador has an ectopic pregnancy rather than operate to save her life and thus “kill” an already non-viable embryo. Likewise, women who miscarry have been imprisoned for unintentional homicide--they are charged with not taking better care of the fetus inside their womb. Still other women charged with suspected abortion are serving prison sentences of up to thirty years. Viterna is exploring the political payoffs of the Left’s willingness to embrace hard-line abortion criminalization processes--including increased success in their ability to distance themselves from their former existence as a revolutionary guerrilla movement, and improved homicide statistics in a country where crime is the most salient political issue for voters.
Participating Harvard Faculty: Jocelyn Viterna, Assistant Professor of Sociology and of Social Studies