RealTime: Uruguayan Senate Passes Abortion Bill

Emily Douglas

The Uruguayan Senate voted Tuesday to decriminalize first-trimester abortions. President Tabare Vazquez has threatened to veto the bill if it passes the House of Representatives.

On Tuesday, the Uruguayan Senate passed the nation's proposed Sexual Health and Reproductive Bill, which includes legalizing abortions performed during the first trimester of pregnancy. The bill heads next to the House of Representatives, after which it would have to be signed by Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez. President Vazquez has said he will veto the bill. A three-fifths Congressional vote in favor of the bill would be necessary to override Vazquez's veto.

Abortion to save a woman's life and to preserve her physical health is currently legal in Uruguay. Upon successful passage of the reproductive heath bill, women could also seek abortions for economic or social hardship, or, reports the Los Angeles Times, for "circumstances linked to how the conception took place."

According to the Xinhua General News Service, hundreds of thousands of women in Uruguay obtain illegal abortions in that country each year.

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