Uruguay Legalizes First-Trimester Abortions

The Uruguay Senate passed a bill on Wednesday that allows women to seek abortions during the first trimester of pregnancy for any reason. Since Uruguayan President José Mujica has no plans to veto the bill, it is expected to go into law next month, representing one of the most progressive abortion laws in the Latin American region. Still, it has its own restrictions. The New York Times reports that the legislation will require women seeking abortions to explain their decision to a panel of at least three people, including a gynecologist, a social worker and a mental health professional. The panelists are required to warn the woman about abortion-related health risks and discuss alternatives to her decision, like adoption. And “after meeting with the panel, a woman must then reflect for five days before finally opting to have an abortion.”