Uruguay: Congress Passes Abortion Bill By Slim Margin

The Uruguayan Congress voted on Tuesday to legalize abortion. The bill is expected to pass both the Senate and President Jose Mujica. (Google Images)

The BBC and The Associated Press are reporting that after a vote by Congress late Tuesday night, Uruguay is well on its way to becoming only the second country in Latin America to legalize abortion for all women. The law must still be approved by both the Senate and President Jose Mujica, but it is expected to pass. Last year the Senate approved a similar version of the law and President Mujica has said he will do the same. Current legislation in Uruguay allows abortion only under circumstances of rape and the safety of the mother.

According to The Associated Press:

“The Chamber of Deputies’ legislation 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.

Deputy Pablo Abdala of the opposition National Party vowed Wednesday to promote a popular referendum to overturn the law, if Mujica doesn’t veto it, calling the measure a violation of human rights.

However, polls suggest many more Uruguayans favor abortion rights than oppose them.

A survey 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.”

Read more about this story on The BBC and The Associated Press.

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