By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

  MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay, February 25, 2008 ( – Legislators from Uruguay’s ruling coalition, the socialist “Broad Front”, are in an internal dispute over bringing an abortion legalization measure to a vote in April in the nation’s Chamber of Deputies.

  After years of trying to legalize abortion through the national legislative system, advocates of the practice achieved passage of a bill in November of last year in the Uruguayan Senate, 18-13.  Although the Broad Front was the primary supporter, some legislators from the older Colorado and National parties also voted for the measure.

  From the Senate the bill passed to the lower house, the Chamber of Deputies, where it has remained in committee.

  Deputy Luis Gallo of the Broad Front says that the bill will be addressed by the Public Health Committee in April, and thinks that it is likely to be approved when it comes to the floor of the chamber for a full vote.

  However, the president of the Public Health Committee, Álvaro Vega, is opposed to bringing the bill up for a vote without the support of Uruguayan President Tabaré Vázquez, who is an intransigent opponent of abortion. Vázquez, himself a Broad Front member, has repeatedly stated that he will veto any legislation that legalizes abortion.

  Other sections of the bill have faced practically no opposition, including provisions to provide pro-homosexual “sex education” classes down to the elementary school level.

  Among Latin American nations, Uruguay is the most supportive of anti-family policies.  In January, Uruguay became the first Latin American nation to approve “civil unions” for homosexual couples at the national level.  Uruguay also joined Argentina and Brazil last year to endorse the “Yogyakarta Principles”, which would elevate sodomy to an internationally-recognized “right”.

  Previous coverage:

  Uruguay Passes Homosexual Civil Union Law

  Socialist President of Uruguay Confirms his Intention to Veto Abortion “Rights” Legislation

  Uruguayan Senate Approves Bill Legalizing Abortion

  Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay Launch Radical Homosexual Rights Initiative at UN