Uruguayan President Vetoes Abortion Rights Legislation

Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez vetoed legislation Thursday that would have legalized abortion in the first trimester. The bill was passed in the Senate earlier this week and would have allowed women to end a pregnancy in the first 12 weeks due to hardship on the basis of economics, family, age, health, or risk to the mother’s life, according to AFP. A three-fifths vote from both house of the Uruguayan Congress would be needed to overturn the veto, but is unlikely.

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 the BBC.

Prior to the official veto, ruling party Senator Margarita Percovich told Reuters UK that “Whether the president vetoes it or not, it’s important that Congress has established this right.”


BBC 11/12/08, 11/14/08; AFP 11/12/08; Reuter's UK 11/11/08

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