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Anti abortion legislation defeated in the House of Representatives

After a long campaign by frontline organizations in defense of human rights and women’s reproductive rights, the legislative bills restricting abortion were defeated in the Judiciary Committee of the Puerto Rico House of Representatives after an intense end of session in which Orlando Aponte was relieved of the presidency of the committee. The President of the House reconfigured the members of the committee last night and assumed the interim presidency at a time when they were considering the proposed bills.

The bills that received negative reports from the Judiciary Committee, preventing them from reaching the floor of the House before the end of the legislative session, were: PC 1084, related to banning abortion after hearing the fetal heartbeat; PC 1403, to create the Act for the Protection of the Reproductive Rights of Women and Pregnant Persons; PC 1410, to hold a referendum for the people to choose between banning or guaranteeing abortion rights; PC 715, which includes defines the concept of conceived; and PS 693, to restrict abortion from week 22, it also eliminated the mental and emotional health of women as an element for an abortion, and created a registry of abortion practitioners, extensive to women and medical personnel.

After communication the voting results of the Committee to the legislative body the Speaker of the House Rafael "Tatito" Hernández made the following expressions:

"Tonight, the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives completed the evaluation of House Bills 715, 1084, 1403, 1410 and the Senate Bill 693, after several months of analysis and discussion where we heard all groups, organizations and entities committed to defending the right to life and the right of women to decide over their own bodies.

Tonight’s vote confirmed that none of the measures provide greater protections than the constitutional guarantees recognized by our rule of law.

In the House of Representatives we fulfill our commitment to lead a broad, inclusive and participatory public hearing process, in which we listen to all sectors, and the ending result of this effort is one that honors the constitutional right to human dignity and privacy, as provided for in our Constitution."



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