LivingThese are the laws that regulate abortion in Spain...

These are the laws that regulate abortion in Spain and Latin America

Yesterday we learned that abortion could be illegal again in the US, almost 50 years later. This has led us to review the current situation in this area in Latin American countries, its conditions, prohibitions and assumptions.

Abortion laws vary from country to country .

In Europe, for example, most countries have permissive legislation regarding early abortion, although there are some exceptions. Spain, for its part, allows free abortion up to 14 weeks of gestation and up to 22 if there is a risk to the life or health of the mother, or anomalies in the fetus.

But if we take a look at the American continent, the situation is very different. So much so, that in some Latin American countries abortion is totally prohibited , and the woman who cannot or does not want to continue with her pregnancy is forced to interrupt it clandestinely, putting her health and life at serious risk and facing very harsh prison sentences.

We review how abortion is legislated in Latin America.

Abortion laws in Latin America

Colombia, the country with the longest term to abort

According to sources consulted, Colombia has recently joined the decriminalization of abortion up to 24 weeks , becoming the Latin American country with the longest gestational period to interrupt pregnancy.

Countries where abortion is free in the first weeks

At the end of 2020, Argentina decriminalized abortion up to the 14th week of pregnancy. Until then, abortion in the country was not allowed except in cases of rape or danger to the mother’s health.

As we can read in this article, since 2012 in Uruguay it is legal to abort during the first 12 weeks of gestation , although the woman must previously go through several meetings with psychologists, doctors and a social worker, in addition to a period of reflection.

Also up to 12 weeks you can have a free abortion on the island of Cuba; a right that women acquired in 1965.

For its part, in Guyana abortion is allowed until the eighth week of gestation, while in French Guiana the term is extended until the 12th week.

Mexico, allowed throughout the country in case of rape and without condition in some States

In Mexico the situation is somewhat more complex, since it varies depending on the legislation of each State. However, throughout the country it is legal to interrupt a pregnancy in the event of rape , although some territories establish requirements such as filing a complaint or setting a maximum term.

In Mexico City and in the states of Oaxaca , Hidalgo and Veracruz abortion is free and without any conditions before 12 weeks. For its part, in 2021 the Supreme Court of Justice of Mexico issued an unprecedented decision, unanimously recognizing the constitutional right to a safe, legal and free abortion during the first stage of pregnancy.

This decision, which initially forced the Penal Code of the State of Coahuila to be changed, has created a judicial precedent that paves the way for the decriminalization of abortion in other states of Mexico where it is considered a crime.

Countries where abortion is prohibited, with some caveats

There are other countries with restrictive legislation in which abortion is only allowed when the woman’s life or health is in danger. This is the case of Paraguay , Venezuela, Guatemala, Peru and Costa Rica.

In February of this year, the National Assembly of Ecuador approved a bill that contemplates that women victims of rape who have become pregnant can interrupt the pregnancy up to 12 weeks, and exceptionally up to 18 in cases of girls, adolescents and indigenous women. and the rural area.

Brazil and Chile also contemplate the assumptions of rape and inviability of the fetus to be able to abort before 12 weeks of gestation. In the case of Chile, the approval of these assumptions in 2017 represented an important advance for women, since before that date abortion was completely prohibited in the country.

In Panama , the assumption of fetal damage is also incorporated, while in Bolivia the law explicitly includes the assumptions of maternal mental health, rape and incest.

Countries where abortion is totally prohibited

The voluntary interruption of pregnancy is completely prohibited in the penal codes of the countries of El Salvador, Jamaica, Honduras, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

Of all these countries, El Salvador is considered to have the toughest laws, as women can face prison sentences of up to 30 years for having an abortion, and even be criminally prosecuted if they suffer an involuntary loss of their pregnancy.

For its part, Honduras recently added to its Constitution the prohibition of abortion, so it will be very difficult to legalize this procedure in the future.

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