Friday, November 14, 2008
Uruguay's Congress Votes to Decriminalize Abortion; Rep. Chris Smith's Selective Concern Over Women
Reuters: Uruguay Congress allows early abortions, veto looms, by Patricia Avila:
Uruguay's Senate voted on Tuesday to decriminalize abortions during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, a rare move for a Latin American country, but the president is expected to kill the measure.
The Senate voted 17 to 13 in favor of the bill after the lower house of Congress approved it last week in a session that was interrupted by a bomb threat.
See also this post from Jill at Feministe. Jill points out that, several years ago, United States Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ), among others, faxed a letter to Senators in Uruguay urging them to vote against such a measure. This despite the fact that many Uruguayan women are dying from illegal abortions. As Jill notes, "Illegal abortion in Uruguay accounts for 29 percent of all maternal deaths — more than double the world-wide figure. In one public hospital in Montevido, nearly half of all maternal deaths were caused by illegal abortion." While Rep. Smith is quick to recognize the brutality of forced abortion in China (see story below; it's also the top feature on Smith's official website), it's clearly not women he's really worried about.