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Catholic Leader Welcomes Abortion Decision in Uruguay

September 26, 2012

Jon O’Brien, the president of Catholics for Choice, welcomed the vote in the Uruguay to legalize abortion. He said, “For far too long, the Catholic hierarchy has negatively influenced reproductive health policies in Uruguay and other countries in Latin America, forcing women to resort to illegal, often unsafe backstreet abortions. It is heartening that both houses in the legislature and President José Mujica have expressed support for a change in the law. While the vote is a step forward, the proposed legislation would codify unreasonable restrictions into law, creating numerous obstacles for women needing safe reproductive healthcare even under the most dire circumstances. Women in Uruguay deserve better, and Catholics for Choice will continue to stand in support of our Uruguayan colleagues and others in the region working for laws that respect the rights of women to make important, personal healthcare decisions for themselves.”

The new law in Uruguay will allow women to access abortion services during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, and later when the pregnancy threatens a woman’s life or in cases when the fetus is severely malformed. Abortion will be legal up to 14 weeks gestation after rape. The most recent poll showed Uruguayans supporting more liberal abortion laws, with 52 percent in favor and 34 percent against.