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Title: The legal and political battles over the distribution of emergency contraception in Chile under the Presidencies of Ricardo Lagos (2000-2005) and Michelle Bachelet (2006-2010)
Author: Sepulveda Zelaya, C. G.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8502 1715
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2015
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Contraception (EC) in Chile during the administrations of Ricardo Lagos (2000-2005) and Michelle Bachelet (2006-2010). For more than ten years, this policy process was marked by a series of political and legal battles at the centre of which were women's sexual and reproductive rights. The legalisation and distribution of EC had the effect of alerting conservative and religious groups opposing EC for its alleged abortive effect. What could have been considered a minor policy issue by many political analysts became a particularly visible and influential issue, especially once Michelle Bachelet, Chile's first female president, took power in 2006. Feminists, the Catholic Church, lawyers and doctors became the main players in front of tribunals supporting or opposing the public policy. The main concern of this research is to understand why the EC policy was such a contentious issue in Chile and elucidate which were the main factors affecting the advancement of this progressive social policy and its final gendered outcome. The central research question driving this study is what does the EC policy process tell us about the role of institutions in the advancement of women's sexual and reproductive rights in Chile? The thesis shows that both formal and informal institutions played a major role in the policy environment in which feminist and sexual and reproductive health and rights advocates had to engage. The role of formal institutions such as the Constitutional Tribunal and the power held by the executive were matched by the power of informal institutions such as the consensus rule, the role of judges and informal lobbying by social actors, as well as the presence of the first female president. Bachelet's profile as a doctor, feminist and woman mixed with her presidential power provides an important explanation to the positive outcome of the policy process.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available