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abortion
(12/02/07) -

Half in Uruguay Would Decriminalize Abortion

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Many people in Uruguay are in favour of proposed legislation that would legalize abortion in the country, according to a poll by Cifra. 49 per cent of respondents support the bill, while 39 per cent oppose it.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Many people in Uruguay are in favour of proposed legislation that would legalize abortion in the country, according to a poll by Cifra. 49 per cent of respondents support the bill, while 39 per cent oppose it.

Under current Uruguayan legislation, women can only terminate a pregnancy in cases of rape, health risk to the mother, or fetal defects. Several bills to legalize abortion have been previously defeated by the country’s legislators.

Tabaré Vázquez—nominee for the leftist Progressive Encounter (EP)—won the October 2004 election with 50.45 per cent of the vote, becoming the first Uruguayan president to represent a political organization other than the Red Party (PC) and the National Party-Whites (PN-B). Vázquez—a physician—has said he would veto any legislation that would make abortion legal.

In January, EP senator Margarita Percovich announced she would re-submit a proposal to Congress to legalize abortion. Percovich said the new bill would address pregnancy termination as a matter of "human rights" and not as a health care topic.

On Nov. 28, Vázquez ratified his intention to veto the bill—which has been approved by Congress—saying, "The Sexual Health and Reproduction Law has many positive elements that must be safeguarded, but it contains others with which I disagree philosophically and biologically and therefore will be vetoed."

Polling Data

Do you support or oppose enacting a law that would decriminalize abortion?

Support

49%

Oppose

39%

Neither / No opinion

12%

Source: Cifra
Methodology: Interviews with 1,000 Uruguayan adults, conducted from Nov. 3 to Nov. 11, 2007. Margin of error is 3.3 per cent.