Thursday, October 26, 2017 - 12:30pm to Friday, October 27, 2017 - 1:55pm
Solarium (Room FA2), Falconer Hall, 84 Queen's Park

Health Law, Ethics & Policy Seminar Series 

Marta  Rodriguez de Assis Machado
Getulio Vargas Foundation Law School
Sao Paulo, Brazil 

The Battle Over Abortion Rights in Brazil’s State Arenas, 1995-2006

Rebecca Cook
University of Toronto Faculty of Law 

Thursday, October 26, 2017
12:30 - 2:00
Solarium (room FA2), Falconer Hall
84 Queen's Park

The article proposes a relational approach to the study of abortion law reform in Brazil. It focuses on the interaction of pro-choice and anti-abortion movements in different political contexts.  It details the emergence of a strategic action field on abortion during the Brazilian re-democratization process and the National Constituent Assembly and offers analysis on pro-choice and anti-abortion mobilization in different state arenas— the executive, the legislative and the Supreme Court. It maps legal and political resources for mobilization, such as legislative bills, public policy norms, and judicial decisions, and track continuities and changes in legal frames. Finally, it analyzes anti-abortion reaction, which was consolidated through an increased conservative presence in the Brazilian congress after 2006, and discusses how the abortion debate has migrated from congress to the Supreme Court and the public sphere. 

Marta Rodriguez de Assis Machado has Master (2004) and PhD (2007) degrees in Philosophy and Theory of Law at University of Sao Paulo, Brazil.  Since 2007, she has been a full time professor at the Getulio Vargas Foundation Law School in Sao Paulo and co-director of its Center of Studies on Crime and Punishment. She is currently also a senior researcher at the Brazilian Center of Analysis and Planning (CEBRAP); a global fellow at the Centre on Law & Social Transformation (CMI/ University of Bergen, in Norway) and one of the principal investigators at the Maria Sibylla Merian International Center for Latin America Conviviality in Unequal Societies. Her research is situated in the inter-disciplinary fields of law, political science and legal-sociology and focuses on the relations between social movements and law; and the ambiguous role criminal law plays between recognition and repression. 

A light lunch will be served. 

We will start promptly at 12.30 so in order to take your lunch, please come on time.


For more information about this workshop, please contact Nadia Gulezko at

Watch the seminar on video