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News > Latin America

Uruguay: Women Demand President Lacalle to Protect Their Rights

  • Femenist demonstration, Montevideo, Uruguay.

    Femenist demonstration, Montevideo, Uruguay. | Photo: Twitter/ @Lenny_Caceres

Published 10 November 2021

Although there has not been an attempt to make abortion illegal, recent statements from public figures have created concerns in gender activists. 

On Wednesday, gender activists will gather at the Uruguayan presidential palace to demand that President Luis Lacalle protect the 2012 Voluntary Interruption Law (IVE).


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Although there has not been a formal attempt to repeal this law, several officials made worrisome statements against the right to safe abortion. One of them is Public Health Service Administration (ASSE) President Leonardo Cipriani who said that his institution will “revise the process of approving the interruption of pregnancies.”

Feminists denounced the statements and recalled that ASSE does not “approve” abortions but rather supports those women that choose to abort. Demonstrators will deliver a letter to Lacalle in which they demand his administration to safeguard the current legislation and remove Cipriani.

“The current scenario requires us to remain alert. We need to act to express our concerns over the risk that our government could go backward on women rights issues,” activist Patricia Totorica said.

Recently right-wing politician Carlos Iafigliola proposed a bill that seeks to discourage pregnant women seeking medical attention from interrupting their pregnancy. It also propose that health centers promote pro-life alternatives.

Gender activists also criticized the appointment of Gabriela Fischer, a well-known militant against the right to safe abortion, as an official of the ASSE Metropolitan Primary Care Network. Her designation, however, was not a surprise. In 2020, Lacalle stated that "Uruguay should have strong laws to protect unborn children."

Since 2012, Uruguayan women can legally request a voluntary interruption of pregnancy before the 12th week of gestation. Conservative groups tried to repeal that right in 2013 but they did not get support from the population.

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