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Argentina senate rejects bill to legalise abortion

Kalerkantho Online   

9 August, 2018 16:35 PM



Argentina senate rejects bill to legalise abortion

Pro-choice campaigners consoled each other after the vote/AFP

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Argentina's senate has rejected a bill which would have legalised abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy.

After a marathon debate, 38 senators voted against it and 31 in favour. Its defeat means lawmakers must wait until next year to resubmit legislation.

Currently abortion is allowed in Argentina only in cases of rape, or if the mother's health is in danger, according to BBC report.

Demonstrators on both sides of the debate rallied outside parliament as voting took place.

Anti-abortion activists have been jubilant. "It's joy to see that our society can be based on such an important principle as the defence of the most defenceless, the child," said one.

Pro-choice campaigners say they are not giving up. Some started fires and lobbed missiles at police after the vote.

How did we get here?
Pro-choice campaigners have for years tried to get bills passed in Argentina, where the population is overwhelmingly Roman Catholic.

Their efforts gained new impetus when President Mauricio Macri - who opposes abortion - called on Congress to consider a vote on it, and it narrowly passed in the lower house.

However, with the Senate leaning conservative, the bill's passage always looked difficult. The debate lasted more than 16 hours in an often fraught session.


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