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abortion
(11/28/08) -

Uruguayans Support Vetoed Abortion Bill

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – The majority of people in Uruguay favour proposed legislation that would loosen existing restrictions on abortion, according to a poll by Factum published in El Espectador. 56 per cent of respondents agree with a bill that would allow women to request an abortion freely during the first 12 weeks of gestation, while 35 per cent disagree.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – The majority of people in Uruguay favour proposed legislation that would loosen existing restrictions on abortion, according to a poll by Factum published in El Espectador. 56 per cent of respondents agree with a bill that would allow women to request an abortion freely during the first 12 weeks of gestation, while 35 per cent disagree.

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 repeatedly stated he would veto any legislation that would make abortion legal.

Earlier this month, a new version of the Sexual Health and Reproduction Law was approved by both the Chamber of Deputies and the Chamber of Senators. The bill called for abortion to be legal in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy under certain circumstances, such as extreme poverty.

On Nov. 13, Vázquez vetoed the legislation. Margarita Percovich, a pro-government lawmaker, claimed to have become "profoundly disappointed with the political system," and added that the presidential veto eliminated "a key instance in the fight for sexual and reproductive health."

Polling Data

A law seeks to allow women to resort to an abortion freely during the first 12 weeks of gestation. Do you agree or disagree with this law?

Agree

56%

Disagree

35%

Not sure

9%

Source: Factum / El Espectador
Methodology: Face-to-face interviews with 900 Uruguayan adults, conducted on Nov. 15, 2008. Margin of error is 3.3 per cent.