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Women's Choices in Comparative Perspective: Abortion Policies in Late-Developing Catholic Countries

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Examination of abortion policy in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Uruguay, Chile, and Argentina allows for control of religion, level of development, and (with the exception of Italy) democratic history. Woman's right to choose to control her body is measured not only by laws on abortion but also by interpretation, access, and policy outcomes to determine how well countries have dealt with reproductive health and abortion in practice. There are three groups with distinct levels of reproductive rights and policies. Public opinion and women's social, economic, and political position do not explain this variation. Rather, the key factors are, first, class divisions and the differential mobilization of the Catholic church and feminists and, second, their relative influence on right and left politicians and the executive.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2008

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  • Comparative Politics is an international journal that publishes scholarly articles devoted to the comparative analysis of political institutions and behavior. It was founded in 1968 to further the development of comparative political theory and the application of comparative theoretical analysis to the empirical investigation of political issues. Comparative Politics communicates new ideas and research findings to social scientists, scholars, and students, and is valued by experts in research organizations, foundations, and consulates throughout the world.
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