Bo­livia moves to re­lax abor­tion rules

The Guardian Weekly - - World roundup -

Women’s rights groups in Bo­livia hope that an over­haul of the pe­nal code could lead to a re­lax­ation of re­stric­tive abor­tion rules – and may mark a step to­wards de­crim­i­nal­i­sa­tion.

The lower house of congress is ex­pected to de­bate an ar­ti­cle in com­ing weeks that would broaden the con­di­tions un­der which an abor­tion could be per­formed.

Abor­tion is cur­rently out­lawed ex­cept for cases of rape, in­cest and dan­ger to the health of the woman. Un­til re­cently ter­mi­na­tions un­der these cir­cum­stances had to be au­tho­rised by a judge.

The re­vised pe­nal code ar­ti­cle, which has been ap­proved by the con­sti­tu­tional com­mit­tee of the lower house, would al­low a woman to ter­mi­nate her preg­nancy in the first eight weeks with­out penalty un­der a range of cir­cum­stances. Cam­paign­ers see the change as a step in the right di­rec­tion.

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