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Judge interferes and stops legal abortion in Uruguay

Publicado el 12/03/2017

Uruguay on alert: Attempt to interfere in the fulfillment of the abortion law from the Judicial Power opens a new front of resistance and struggle

On February 21st, Mercedes, Soriano, judge Pura Concepción Book ruled against a woman who decides to have a legal abortion, after her ex-boyfriend presented an “amparo” and a legal recourse to declare Law 18.987 (voluntary pregnancy interruption law) unconstitutional. Besides, the jugde assigned a lawyer to the fetus.

It’s no coincidence the case happened in Soriano, Mercedes is one of the conservative bastions of the country, where 100% of the gynecologists are conscientious objectors (MYSU, 2014/2015). Read here MYSU’s research about Soriano’s health services.

The case garnered great reaction among social organizations and women groups, in rejection of the ruling that kept the women from exercising her right to a legal interruption of an undesired pregnancy, and tried to reopen the debate about abortion in Uruguay, one that had been finished since the approval of Law 18.987 in 2012.

In this country, abortion is among the sexual and reproductive women’s rights, and we must ensure the access to this right in a legal, free and safe way.

The defendant appealed judge Book’s ruling. On Friday 10th, the Appeals Court finally annulled the “amparo” recourse, in the understanding that there was no “object” to constitute a case in the appeal, as the woman had an spontaneous abortion in those days, as a result of the stress, mistreatment and public exposure she was suffering.

Now she’s facing a criminal complaint presented by her ex-boyfriend, as he announced to the media, though she hasn’t been officially notified yet.

Meanwhile, the woman is considering taking legal action against the judge, going to court, for the damages experienced the last three weeks.

Organizations as MYSU reacted immediately to the situation, searching for information and contacting the authorities to act against a violation rights situation, once we learned where it was happening and the situation in which the woman was being left helpless in exercising her rights, already recognized by the law.

In a few hours, media action got the news into front pages and national and international attention. Here we share all the news reports about the case, being MYSU a main source for journalists following the case in most of them: Aborto en Mercedes: MYSU como una fuente clave para los medios

We understand that this is a new attempt to criminalize the reproductive decisions of women.

We want to investigate whether these allegations against women have been sponsored or supported by anti-rights groups.

And we demand that the Uruguayan State repair the affected woman, who for three weeks has been subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment, stress, anguish and public scorn.

We hope that you add your solidarity with this woman so that there are no setbacks in the rights won.

Mujer y Salud en Uruguay -MYSU

Montevideo, 14 DE MARZO 2017