Uruguay is a developed country both economically as well as socially in the group of upper-middle income countries. It is worth to emphasize in this context that the Uruguay’s social policy is always at the forefront of social changes. The country’s experiences low birth rate that causes inadequacy of qualified workforce and pension crisis. Consequently, the current political debate in Uruguay is centred on the legalization of abortion and its impact on the country’s economy. Abortion could be considered from different points of view i.e. medical, moral, religious, political and so on. Therefore, there are numerous arguments in favour of one or another confronting party.
Statement of issue
Surveys provided by Uruguay’s consulting agencies suggest that the majority of country’s population i.e. 52-57 percent support the legalization of abortion and would vote to legalize the issue if it were to be approved in a nationwide referendum (Fox News, 2012). However, the other part of the population does not support this proposition. The opposing group suggested various reasons for discouraging the legalization of aborting such as the negative economic impact. Therefore, the main issue of current political debate in Uruguay is whether to legalize abortion or to ban it under any conditions and its significance in the economy.
The right to life is the most fundamental human rights as stated in the article 4 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights issued by UNO. Therefore, from this universal standpoint and religious opinion abortion can be considered as a killing of a human. On the other hand, as advocates of abortion probably would argue, that the fetus i.e. unborn child could not enjoy this right. Besides, several questions arise in a broader perspective. Should abortion be decriminalized if the mother’s life is at risk? Should abortion be allowed in the case of committed rape or when the fetus is deformed and would most likely not survive? These are just a few of such hard-to-answer questions.
Another side of the issue entails the women’s rights in a democratic society. Several interests groups dispute that the right to abortion is a woman’s natural right because she carries the pregnancy to maturity by choice. It is worth noting that about 26 percent of maternal deaths in Uruguay were caused by unsafe abortion complications (Briozzo et al. 2004) and, as be seen from the table 1, this rate is slightly higher than the average in the South or Latin America. The world average rate, by contrast, is far smaller, and that means that the government has to regulate the issue in order to avoid excessive abortion and save women’s lives.
Policy Options and their Economic Implications
The government can either allow the abortion without any restrictions or ban it with minimal exceptions. Another way of dealing with the issue is through legislative compromise, which is abortion can be decriminalized under some extreme conditions, for instance, rape, incest and so on. However, there is a need for the government to consider the impact of abortion on the country’s economy before …
Posted by: Sammy Eklund