Abortion Rights Legal Mobilization in the Peruvian Media, 1990–2015

Camila Gianella (2017)

The article is one of three recent publications from the project Abortion Rights Lawfare in Latin America.

State and non-state actors engaged in disputes to expand and limit abortion rights have engaged in legal mobilization—in other words, strategies using rights and law as a central tool for advancing contested political goals. Peru, like other Latin American countries, has experienced an increase in abortion rights legal mobilization in recent years, including litigation before national and international courts. This paper centers on societal legal mobilization, or the legal mobilization that occurs outside the legislative and judicial branches and that includes strategies promoted by the executive branch, political actors, and non-partisan organizations and individuals. It presents an analysis of op-ed articles published in two national newspapers, El Comercio and La República, between 1990 and 2015. The paper argues that the media is also an arena where legal mobilization takes place and is not just a space influenced by legal mobilization. Rather, the media’s agenda operates independently of legal mobilization in the legislature and the courts, and it determines whether certain issues receive coverage and the way these issues are framed.