A presidential veto has kept Uruguay from having South America's most liberal abortion law, CNN reported.
An anti-abortion protester displays an Uruguayan flag last week in front of Uruguay's Congress in Montevideo.
Women's rights groups are furious and plan protests, calling President Tabare Vazquez "authoritarian." But religious groups are applauding.
Uruguay's Congress narrowly legalized first-trimester abortions despite threats from the nation's bishops to excommunicate any lawmaker who approved the measure.
But Vazquez vetoed it Friday as unconstitutional.
Uruguay's Socialist president has said he doesn't agree with abortion "philosophically or biologically."
The veto sends the measure back to Congress, where abortion rights lawmakers lack the votes to overturn it.