Three lessons on abortion for global public law

In April 2021, the Constitutional Court of Ecuador issued an opinion on the constitutionality of the 1938 ban on abortion in cases of rape. However, beyond the exciting discussion on abortion itself, the opinion offers three interesting lessons for global public law regarding Constitutional Courts and politics.

First, although judicial decisions have put an end to the abortion debate in many countries, Ecuador’s 2021 opinion recognizes that there are issues on abortion that should be discussed in the political arena with the highest standards of democratic deliberation.
Second, the opinion reveals that Constitutional Courts do not necessarily have the last say on every complex constitutional issue but can be the starting point to a broader political discussion before a divided society. Finally, the judicial opinion demonstrates that Constitutional Courts can insert feminist demands in the public agenda.