Over time and across societies, scholars have documented a slow but steady global trend toward liberalization in laws regulating gender, sexuality, and reproduction. However, scholars’ tendencies to compare “countries that progress” with “countries that do not progress” ultimately miss a key category of analysis—countries where gender-based rights are not simply stagnating, but reversing. A handful of nations—including the United States—have recently experienced reversals of existing, legal, gender-based rights, particularly in relation to reproductive justice. Viterna and colleagues’ recent research focuses heavily on rights reversals in El Salvador, where the 1997 imposition of an absolute abortion ban limits pregnant individuals’ access to necessary medical care, and justifies the incarceration of women who suffer obstetrical emergencies. Future research traces the development of the highly-successful, closely-networked, anti-abortion movements in the US, Nicaragua, and El Salvador to document how similar legislation is differentially encoded in state institutions, and how this differential encoding in turn has profound consequences for people’s bodies and lives.