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Montevideo Conference Attendees Urge Regional Governments To Modify Abortion Laws

“Representatives of 38 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean meeting this week in the Uruguayan capital urged governments in the region to consider modifying their laws on abortion, which are among the most restrictive in the world,” Inter Press Service reports. “The Montevideo Consensus on Population and Development calls on ‘States to consider amending their laws, regulations, strategies and public policies relating to the voluntary termination of pregnancy in order to protect the lives and health of women and adolescent girls, to improve their quality of life and to reduce the number of abortions,’” according to IPS, which notes “[t]he document was adopted at the end of the first session of the Regional Conference on Population and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean,” which ended last week.

“The Montevideo Consensus also urges the governments to ‘Ensure, in those cases where abortion is legal or decriminalized under the relevant national legislation, the availability of safe, good-quality abortion services for women with unwanted and unaccepted pregnancies,’” the news service continues. “The document contains over 120 measures concerning the eight priority areas to follow up the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) held in Cairo in 1994,” IPS writes, noting, “The recommendations will be the input of Latin America and the Caribbean to the meetings of the U.N. Commission on Population and Development and the General Assembly, to be held in New York in April and September 2014, respectively.” The news service quotes several meeting participants and outlines additional commitments made at the event (Pierri, 8/16).