Abortion Rift Leads Uruguayan President to Resign from Socialist Party

Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez resigned from the Socialist party last week after disagreement with the party over abortion legislation that he vetoed in November. The legislation would have legalized abortion in the first trimester due to hardship on the basis of economics, family, age, health, or risk to the mother’s life, according to Agence France Presse. A three-fifths vote from both houses of the Uruguayan Congress was needed to overturn the veto, but failed to materialize.

According to Mercopress, sources close to Vazquez reportedly have said that the he felt he was “being ignored” or “left aside” in part because of strong support for abortion legalization from the many in the Socialist party. Another bill to legalize abortion will be presented in the Uruguayan Congress next year, according to Reuters UK.

Current law in Uruguay criminalizes all abortion except in cases of rape or endangerment of the mother’s life. A public opinion poll found that 57% of Uruguayans support legalized abortion, according to Agence France Presse.


Feminist Daily Newswire 11/14/08; Agence France Presse 11/11/08, 11/20/08; Reuters UK 12/4/08; Mercopress 12/4/08

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