Uruguay poised to legalize abortion

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(AP)—Uruguay’s congress appeared ready on Tuesday to legalize abortion, a groundbreaking move in Latin America, where no country save Cuba has made abortions accessible to all women during the first trimester of pregnancy.


Compromises made to secure votes disappointed both sides of the abortion divide, which gathered in protest. Once it gets through Uruguay’s lower house, the measure would go back to the Senate for approval of changes, but President Jose Mujica has said he will allow it to become law.

The measure would give women the right to a legal abortion during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, and decriminalize later-term abortions when the mother’s life is at risk or when the fetus is so deformed that it wouldn’t survive after birth. In cases of rape, abortions would be legal during the first 14 weeks.

The goal is to reduce the number of illegal abortions in Uruguay, Congressman Ivan Posada of the center-left Independent Party told his fellow lawmakers Tuesday. Posada wrote the measure and is expected to provide a key 50th vote against the opposition of 49 other lawmakers.

“They talk of 30,000 a year, a hypothetical number, but whatever the number is, it’s quite dramatic for a country where 47,000 children are born each year,” Posada explained earlier in an Associated Press interview.

A poll this month showed 52 percent of Uruguayans would vote to legalize abortion if the question were put to the people, while 34 percent would vote against it. The survey of 802 people nationwide by the CIFRA consulting firm had a 3.4 percentage point margin of error.

Compromises include requiring women seeking abortions to justify their request before a panel of at least three professionals—a gynecologist, psychologist and social worker—and listen to advice about alternatives including adoption and support services if should she decide to keep the baby.

Then, she must wait five more days “to reflect” on the consequences before the procedure.

“It’s important that the woman who decides to have an abortion attend this meeting where she will be informed, where they’ll explain all the options including alternatives that she is free to choose from,” Posada told the AP.

The review panel should obtain the father’s point of view, but only if the woman agrees. Women under 18 must show parental consent, but they can seek approval from a judge instead if they’re unwilling or unable to involve their parents in the decision.

 

Written By: Pablo Fernandez
continue to source article at medicalxpress.com

8 COMMENTS

  1. I, like all free thinkers welcome this progressive Ugandan’s step to give woman the right that ‘s  being taking away from them by the sexists religious dogmas, to have control over their own bodies.

  2. It’s certainly not a decision to be taken lightly. It’s a complicated issue, often subject to individual circumstances, and it tends to be polarised and over-simplified a great deal. As a matter of law, at least the possibility should be given. 

  3. I hope that the rest of South American will follow Uruguay soon and legalize abortion and undertake a real, mature sexual education, and not only to children and adolescents, grown-ups as well. Many abortions would not take place if people knew how to take care, what to do…

  4. Dear Kamel: my country is Uruguay, is not Uganda.Uruguay is the most beautyfull country of Latin América.Our president, Joseph Mujica, is atheist and hes wife, Manuela is free thinker.All are invited (Dawkins included) to drink mate and eat bread whit cow fat.

  5. As one of the most liberal countries of South America, we expect mr. Dawkins to visit us, like Charles Darwin did. Anyway we still are waiting the Congress to confirm the law. As you can imagine, Catholics and some other religious people are putting pressure on this issue. 

    Best regards from Montevideo

  6. Finally….we did it…
    Uruguay paved the way for one of the most far-reaching abortion rights laws in Latin America this week when its Senate voted to legalize the procedure during the first trimester of pregnancy. The controversial decision has sparked speculation as to whether regional neighbors – from liberal Argentina to conservative Chile – could follow suit.Uruguay’s Senate vote on Wednesday put the southern cone nation “at the forefront of countries that have established [these] rights,” says Véronica Pérez, a political scientist at Montevideo’s University of the Republic. President Jose Mujica, a former leftist guerrilla, is expected to sign the bill into law.Though Uruguay is already considered one of the most liberal countries in the region – it was one of the first Latin American nations to officially separate the state from the Catholic church in the early 1900s, and it recently floated the idea of legalizing marijuana – the abortion debate has been met with considerable opposition.

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