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‘Uruguay Model’ Offers Opportunity For Women To Undergo Safer Abortions Despite Legal Conditions

New York Times: From Uruguay, a Model for Making Abortion Safer
Patrick Adams, freelance journalist

“…It started 10 years before [Uruguay legalized abortion in 2012], with a medical protocol called the ‘Uruguay Model.’ Described by its architects as an ‘intermediate step’ toward allowing abortion, the protocol was designed to make safer the many abortions then being carried out clandestinely. … [A] pilot program at Pereira Rossell [hospital, led by a group called ‘Iniciativas Sanitarias,’ had] one aim: to provide women contemplating an abortion with judgment-free, factually accurate information on, among other things, the use of medicines to terminate a pregnancy. … Though the physician would explain how to correctly use misoprostol, he or she would provide no information on how or where to obtain the drug, because doing so was against the law. … Over the next several years, Iniciativas Sanitarias worked with international organizations to replicate the Uruguay Model in nine other countries — all of them larger, poorer, and more socially conservative than Uruguay. … [A]dvocates say it has had a clear impact on unsafe abortion in many of the communities where it was piloted … [and] also emboldened providers in those places to speak out publicly…” (6/28).

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