Controversial Conceptions: The Unborn and the American Convention on Human Rights
39 Pages Posted: 5 Mar 2011 Last revised: 2 Aug 2012
Date Written: March 4, 2011
This study interprets the ambiguous Article 4(1) of the American Convention on Human Rights, which establishes that life shall be protected “in general, from the moment of conception.” When doing so, it pays attention to different interpretive systems, and takes into account what is recorded in the travaux préparatoires of the Convention. Likewise, this study analyzes what the Inter-American Commission has determined on this issue, and assesses the value of these decisions. This article concludes that, even though one of the possible interpretations of the American Convention affirms that it would tolerate domestic legislations providing for abortion in exceptional circumstances, it declares the unborn’s personhood.
Keywords: American Convention, Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Life, Unborn, Abortion
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