Legalization and democratization in Argentina: Constitutional change and abortion 10 years after FAL

On March 2012, the Argentine Supreme Court issued FAL, its historic decision on the constitutional status of the criminal code rules regulating abortion. At the time, the decision was considered both modest and groundbreaking. Ultimately, in FAL the Court was merely convalidating the constitutional status and scope of the rape exception written into Argentine Criminal law since 1921. Yet, FAL could also be read doctrinally as a landmark contribution opening a new phase in the fight for legalization. While learning from the Colombian Constitutional Court’s 2006 precedent, the Court was also pushing further the content of a reproductive right that encompassed, among others, institutional duties to guarantee and to cover access to abortion. A decade later, we can still look back at FAL to appreciate not only its doctrinal relevance but its broader role in the history of judicial contributions to constitutional change and the path towards the transformation of women’s role in our democracy.