02/14/2013 11:06 am ET

Latin America Still A Bastion Of Draconian Anti-abortion Laws

In 2007, a battle was won in the bitter fight to decriminalise abortion in Latin America when Mexico City passed groundbreaking legislation that allowed any woman to access abortion on request up to 12 weeks into pregnancy.

Latin America remains a bastion of draconian anti-abortion legislation, where the termination of a pregnancy is almost universally considered a criminal act. Most countries operate an exemptions approach, where abortion is illegal but penalties are waived in a few specific circumstances. Chile, Nicaragua and El Salvador ban abortion completely, even if the pregnancy threatens the life of both the mother and the foetus.

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