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Latin America takes action to decriminalize abortion

GlobalPost | 1-20-2013

This month is the 40th anniversary of one of the most important legal decisions of our time: Roe v. Wade. This legislative victory changed the course of history for women not only in the United States, but also throughout the world. It provided a framework for sexual and reproductive rights used by advocates from San Francisco to Santiago, and the past year yielded significant progress on abortion rights in Latin America.

For decades, advocates in Latin America have come together to demand that governments decriminalize abortion, provide access to safe and legal abortion services, and bring an end to the stigma faced by women who have had an abortion.

The region has some of the most restrictive laws against abortion in the world. Abortion is not permitted for any reason in seven of Latin America's 34 countries and territories, and it is allowed only to save the woman’s life in eight others. Only six countries and territories permit abortion without restriction, accounting for less than 5 percent of women aged 15 to 44 years old.

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