Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

First Page



At the 1994 United Nations International Conference on Population and Development, the Vatican, along with several Latin American and Muslim nations, fought against First World nations that sought to include provisions relating to abortion, contraception, sexual education, and women's issues in the Conference's Program of Action. Universal agreement was not reached and several nations, including the Vatican, refused to completely join the Program of Action.

This Note examines the history and theory behind the United Nations population conferences. Against this background, the author examines the 1994 Conference and considers its effect on Latin America by discussing the religion, tradition, and law of Latin America, particularly regarding abortion, contraception, and women's issues. The author also considers Western social problems and argues that First World policies for legalized abortion, easy access to contraceptives and sexual education, and the changing societal role of women will not improve the quality of life in Latin America. The author concludes by briefly considering the 1995 Women's Conference in Being and arguing that Latin America's religion, tradition, and law are worth preserving.