Montevideo Consensus Urges Countries to Change Abortion Laws

August 19, 2013 • Family Planning, Reproductive Health, News

Montevideo Consensus Urges Countries to Change Abortion Laws

MONTEVIDEO, Aug 16 2013 (IPS) – Representatives of 38 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean meeting this week in the Uruguayan capital urged governments in the region to consider modifying their laws on abortion, which are among the most restrictive in the world.

The Montevideo Consensus on Population and Development calls on “States to consider amending their laws, regulations, strategies and public policies relating to the voluntary termination of pregnancy in order to protect the lives and health of women and adolescent girls, to improve their quality of life and to reduce the number of abortions”.

The document was adopted at the end of the first session of the Regional Conference on Population and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean, which ran Monday through Thursday.

Daptnhe Cuevas, of the Latin American and Caribbean Women’s Health Network, said their reaction to the outcome of the conference was “jubilation.”

We feminists came here with a series of clearly outlined proposals that were taken up integrally by the governments, which sent out a strong signal to the world that in Latin America, women’s rights are on the rise.”

Speaking with IPS just after the negotiations came to a close, the Mexican activist described the result as “a resounding success” and praised the governments for “rising to the demands.”

The Montevideo Consensus also urges the governments to “Ensure, in those cases where abortion is legal or decriminalised under the relevant national legislation, the availability of safe, good-quality abortion services for women with unwanted and unaccepted pregnancies”.

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