Uruguay president signs bill legalizing abortion Matthew Pomy at 10:57 AM ET
[JURIST] Uruguay President Jose Mujica [official profile, in Spanish] on Tuesday signed a bill [text, in Spanish] legalizing abortion. The bill provides no restrictions on abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. After the first 12 weeks it provides that women must go before a medical panel and go through a five-day "reflection" period before undergoing the procedure. This makes Uruguay only the second Latin American Country to legalize abortion. Conservative opposition is reportedly considering attempting to remove the law [Focus report] through a referendum.
Abortion is a controversial issue among predominantly Roman Catholic Latin-American countries. In April the Brazilian Supreme Court [official website, in Portuguese] overturned a ban [JURIST report against aborting brain-damaged fetuses. In March the Supreme Court of Argentina [official website, in Spanish] ruled that rape victims cannot be prosecuted [JURIST report] for seeking abortions. Last year Mexico's Supreme Court [official website, in Spanish] failed to overturn [JURIST report] an amendment that stated life begins at conception, effectively banning abortions in Mexico's northern Baja California state. In 2008 Uruguay's then-president vetoed a law that was passed [JURIST reports] by the legislature decriminalizing abortion. Guyana legalized abortion in 1995.
Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible, ad-free format.