April 3, 2012 ( – An attempt by Uruguay’s ruling coalition of socialist parties to legalize abortion on demand during the first twelve weeks of pregnancy has stalled in the nation’s Chamber of Deputies, after passing a Senate vote in late December.

Although a vote on the measure was projected to take place sometime in March, no such vote has taken place.  According to Soledad González, spokeswoman for the Legal Abortion Coordinator, there isn’t sufficient support in the lower legislative house to pass it.

“In reality, it’s all about pressuring the deputies, because the citizens, in reality, according to the polls that have been done for the last 15 years, are in favor of legal abortion, and of a change in the current laws,” she told the Spanish news service EFE in a recent interview.

González says that her group is pressuring legislators to support the measure, through public demonstrations and lobbying within the Parliament, in an attempt to convince lawmakers that they aren’t being “representative” if they don’t vote in favor.

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While pro-abortion forces are trying to jump-start their legalization initiative, pro-lifers are expressing their opposition in unique ways.

On March 10, during the annual Patria Gaucha celebration, which pays tribute to the “Gaucho” or rancher culture of Uruguay and neighboring countries, a parade of 4,000 horses with 2,400 riders marched by Uruguay’s president José Mujica, under the slogan “Yes to Life,” EWTN Noticias reported.

Marchers also did not adorn an image of the Virgin Mary that is carried in the parade, in protest against the pro-abortion legislation under consideration.

At the end of the parade, a letter expressing the pro-life position was delivered to Mujica, who has promised to sign the abortion bill if it is passed by the Parliament.

Pro-abortion legislation was passed by both houses of the Uruguayan Congress in 2008, but vetoed by then-president Tabaré Vazquez, whose pro-life position was in opposition to the position of the Broad Front coalition, of which he was a member.


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