Uruguayan President Vetoes Abortion Decriminalization Bill

Emily Douglas

Late last week Uruguay's President Tabare Vazquez vetoed a reproductive health bill that would have legalized abortion to the twelfth week of pregnancy.

Both House and Senate passed a bill decriminalizing abortion to twelve weeks in Uruguay over the past few weeks, but late last week Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez vetoed the bill, and the legislature is unlikely to override it.

Despite being a physician by training, President Vazquez was apparently happy to ignore the high rate of maternal death as a result of unsafe abortion in his country: illegal abortion in Uruguay accounts for 29 percent of all maternal deaths, more than twice the average worldwide.

In a statement, President Vazquez said, "Our laws cannot ignore the reality of the existence of human life
in the gestation period, as scientific evidence clearly shows…It’s more appropriate to look for a solution based on
solidarity, giving a woman the freedom to make other choices and
thereby save both her and the baby."


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