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Decriminalizing Abortion in Uruguay: Women’s Movements, Secularism, and Political Allies

Author: Cora Anderson

In: Journal of Women, Politics, & Policy, Vol 38, No 2, 2016, pp. 221-246

In 2012 Uruguay became the second country in Latin America to decriminalize abortion during the first trimester. Drawing on original field research, this article argues that the reform was due to the existence of a strong campaign for decriminalization. The women’s movement framed their case to resonate within civil society, gathered support from key social actors, and collaborated closely with sympathetic legislators. Success was also due to the limited influence of the Catholic Church, a president open to abortion reform, and a highly institutionalized party system creating a strong leftist coalition.