[JURIST] The Uruguayan Senate passed a bill Tuesday that partially decriminalizes abortion [JURIST news archive], but the proposal may not have the support needed to override the veto promised by Uruguyan President Tabare Vazquez [BBC profile]. According to the draft law, a mother may terminate her pregnancy during the first 12 weeks to prevent risks to her health, birth deformities, economic hardship, or other family problems. While the measure passed the Senate by a vote of 18-13, 19 votes in the Senate are needed to overcome a veto. The bill is expected to pass the House of Representatives [official website], and supporters are still hopeful that they may muster the votes needed to enact the law.
Uruguay joins most Latin American countries in its restrictive abortion laws. Abortion is completely illegal in Nicaragua [JURIST report], Chile, El Salvador, and the Dominican Republic [HRW reports]. Brazil [HRW report] permits abortion when a mother's life is endangered or when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. In countries such as Colombia [JURIST report] and Argentina [HRW report], criminal penalties may be decreased when the mother's life is at risk. Although Mexico City legalized abortion [JURIST report] in some circumstances in April, it is still illegal in the rest of Mexico [HRW report]. Cuba [ISP report] is the only country in the region in which abortion is not illegal. Observa has more.