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  • Members of the Movimiento Urgente demonstrate against the government's Law of Urgent Consideration, Uruguay May, 2020.

    Members of the Movimiento Urgente demonstrate against the government's Law of Urgent Consideration, Uruguay May, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/@MovUrgente

Published 6 May 2020

Uruguay has a legal abortion policy since 2012.  It can be performed within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy or 14 when pregnancy results from a sexual assault. 

Uruguay's President Luis Lacalle Pou stated on May 4 that his administration rejects a pro-abortion law. 

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Lacalle said at a press conference about COVID-19 that the country's abortion law must change in the South American nation. After being questioned about his position on legal abortion law, Lacalle affirmed his government is “pro-life.”

"Legal, safe and free abortion is urgent! In view of the declarations of the President, Lacalle Pou, on the "pro-life" agenda that the government is going to implement, we say that we are not willing to go back on the rights that have been won."


"Uruguay must have strong protection for unborn children, that there must be a policy to discourage abortions, that Uruguay in its Constitution and accordance with the ratified covenants understands that there is life from conception and, in that sense, an unborn child has rights" Lacalle stated.

About a legal abortion bill, the mandatary explained that current legal disposal already supports that issue.  According to Lacalle, his government has a different stand from the political forces who signed the law. 

The Head of State explained that as he had announced during the campaign, his government has a "pro-life" agenda, which it would fulfill during its mandate.

"The President's giving out very bad signals. First, he points to gender-based violence as collateral damage, then he points out that the government is pro-life, a pernicious definition. We are all pro-life. The government must guarantee the exercise of rights."


Broad Front party senator Carolina Cosse rejected Lacalle’s declarations. Cosse affirmed that abortion is a personal choice and a women’s right to decide about their bodies and maternity. 

Congresswoman Cristina Lustenberg said that "a policy of discouraging legal abortion will be a regressive proposal in terms of rights, on an issue lauded by Uruguayan society, which questions the pillar of laicism of the State.

Uruguay has a legal abortion policy since 2012.  It can be performed within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy or 14 when pregnancy results from a sexual assault. 

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