The Uruguayan Senate has voted to decriminalize abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy - a rare step in a Latin American country. The measure, approved last week by the lower house, passed by 17 votes to 13. The bill's backers say it will reduce the number of women dying because they have to resort to illegal abortions. But President Tabare Vazquez, himself a doctor, has said he opposes abortion on medical and ethical grounds, and he is expected to veto the bill. Under the current law, women who have an abortion and the people who assist them face prison. (BBC)

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