• All Share : 49722.88
    UNCHANGED0.00%
    Top 40 : 3828.52
    UNCHANGED0.00%
    Financial 15 : 15178.82
    UNCHANGED0.00%
    Industrial 25 : 60698.41
    UNCHANGED0.00%

  • ZAR/USD : 11.0395
    UP 1.57%
    ZAR/GBP : 17.6597
    UP 1.59%
    ZAR/EUR : 13.8264
    UP 0.92%
    ZAR/JPY : 0.0983
    UP 0.23%
    ZAR/AUD : 9.7126
    UP 0.23%

  • Gold : 1172.8500
    UP 0.03%
    Platinum : 1231.0000
    UP 0.33%
    Silver : 16.1550
    UP 0.16%
    Palladium : 792.5000
    UP 0.57%
    Brent Crude Oil : 85.860
    UNCHANGED0.00%

  • All data is delayed by 15 min. Data supplied by I-Net Bridge
    Hover cursor over this ticker to pause.

Sat Nov 01 12:30:09 SAST 2014

Conservative Uruguay's senate passes abortion bill

Reuters | 28 December, 2011 08:21

Uruguay’s Senate passed a bill to decriminalise abortion, a move that underscores the nation’s liberal stance on ethical issues in the mainly conservative Roman Catholic region.  

The bill, which is expected to pass in the lower house after lawmakers return from recess in February, would let women have abortions in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.  

It was approved in the Senate 17-14 after 10 hours of heated debate.  

“We don’t have the right to pass moral judgement by saying that the woman who continues her pregnancy and has her baby is in the right whereas the one who doesn’t, for whatever reason, is in the wrong,” said Senator Monica Xavier, a member of the ruling leftist coalition of President Jose Mujica.  

“We’re not moral censors, we’re congressmen,” she added.  

Mujica’s allies control the Senate and the lower house and he has indicated he would sign the law if it passes both chambers.  

Three years ago Mujica’s predecessor, Tabare Vazquez, vetoed a similar abortion measure on the grounds that it violated the right to life, and the issue remains highly charged.  

“This bill discriminates against men,” said Senator Alfredo Solari from the opposition Colorado Party. “How can the law leave the decision to end a pregnancy with the woman alone? What about the man?”  

Abortion was banned in Uruguay in 1938 and the current law only allows courts to waive or reduce penalties in a few cases including rape and when the women’s health is at serious risk.  

Government policies on abortion and other divisive matters such as gay rights tend to reflect the church’s conservative stance in Latin America – home to about half of the world’s Catholics.  

Communist Cuba has the region’s most permissive laws on abortion. Mexico City allows abortion in the first 12 weeks.  

Uruguay was the first Latin American country to legalise civil unions for gay couples, granting them rights similar to those enjoyed by married couples on matters such as inheritance, pensions and child custody.  

The ranching country of 3.4 million also lets homosexuals serve in the armed forces and allows terminally ill patients to refuse treatment.  

SHARE YOUR OPINION

If you have an opinion you would like to share on this article, please send us an e-mail to the Times LIVE iLIVE team. In the mean time, click here to view the Times LIVE iLIVE section.