La Mesa por la Vida y la Salud de las Mujeres

LEGAL KNOWLEDGE AS A TOOL FOR SOCIAL CHANGE: LA MESA POR LA VIDA Y LA SALUD DE LAS MUJERES AS AN EXPERT ON COLOMBIAN ABORTION LAW

In May 2006, Colombia’s Constitutional Court liberalized abortion, introducing three circumstances under which the procedure would not be considered a crime: (1) rape or incest; (2) a risk to the woman’s health or life; and (3) fetal malformations incompatible with life. Immediately following the court’s ruling, known as Sentence C-355, members of La Mesa por la Vida y Salud de las Mujeres (hereinafter La Mesa) began to mobilize to ensure the decision’s implementation, bearing in mind the limited impact that the legal framework endorsed by the court has had in other countries in the region. We argue that La Mesa’s strategy is an innovative one in the field of legal mobilization insofar as it presumes that law can be shaped not just by public officials and universities but also by social actors engaged in the creation and diffusion of legal knowledge.

Ana Cristina González Vélez and Isabel Cristina Jaramillo