Los Angeles Times

Argentina bans abortion in most cases, but abortion rate far higher than in the US

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina - The woman stumbled into a public hospital late one night, her stomach turning as she approached the lobby. She was bleeding.

Dr. Damian Levy ushered her into a room. Like many of his patients at Hospital Alvarez in Buenos Aires, she was young and poor. At first, she refused to tell him why she was there.

Then she burst into a tearful confession. She had tried to perform her own abortion at home and used 40 tablets of the drug misoprostol - nearly three times the suggested dosage for inducing a miscarriage. She was worried that the hospital would report her to police.

In Argentina, and across much of Latin America, where edicts of the Catholic Church are often enshrined in law, elective abortion in cases of unwanted pregnancy is illegal.

Yet the laws are widely circumvented, and researchers are finding that

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