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Uruguay to conditionally recognize legal abortions

MONTEVIDEO -- Uruguay is set to become only the second Latin American country to legalize abortion, after a vote in its legislature giving a woman the right, under certain conditions, to terminate an unwanted pregnancy.

The bill was approved in Uruguay's chamber of deputies late Tuesday after 14 hours of intense debate.

It passed by the narrowest of margins — 50 votes for, 49 against — as scores of protesters for and against the measure demonstrated outside the building.

The bill must still be approved by the Senate, where it is expected to pass handily. A vote was expected before the end of the year, possibly as soon as next month.

Once approved, Uruguay would become only the second Latin American country to legalize abortion, after Cuba in 1965. English-speaking Guyana approved it in 1995.

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