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Year: 2009 Type: Article Language: English

Since the restoration of democracy to Uruguay in 1985, every year has seen initiatives to decriminalize abortions. Strong support and public awareness focussing on women’s rights and personal freedom by advocacy groups has bolstered public opinion in support of woman’s choice from 25 per cent to 65 per cent, between 1985 and 2007. Despite this wave of grassroots support, powerful politicians remain wedded to more conservative values, managing to defeat every decriminalization bill presented to date. But the increasing environment of democratization and support for rights and choice, buttressed by a wide range of civil society actors, including advocacy groups, CBOs, academics and politicians, may provide sufficient pressure that the government accepts the newest bill on the Defence on the Right to Sexual and Reproductive Health. This presents a great opportunity for Uruguay and Latin America – and those interested in the process of democratization – to push for the recognition of sexual and reproductive rights as human rights and to guarantee women’s rights to decide.

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