In a historic move this week, Uruguayan President José Mujica has signed into law a bill that waives criminal penalties for abortion in the first 12 weeks of gestation, with certain procedural requirements, and in the first 14 weeks of gestation in the cases of rape.

The law marks a significant development in realizing women’s human rights and preventing unsafe, clandestine abortions in the region.

Read more after the jump.

© 2012 Reuters