Argentine Senate debates measure to legalize abortion

Elias Hubbard
August 9, 2018

The bill had narrowly passed in the lower house in July.

Just because the bill got shot down, it will not stop the movement. "We will be there at the next legislative opportunity".

According to an official tally, 38 senators voted against the measure to legalise the termination of a foetus during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy, 31 were in favour, while two abstained. Moreover, efforts to present abortion as a health emergency, calling clandestine abortions the primary cause of maternal death in the country, statistics show that this claim is simply false.

Argentina, the homeland of Pope Francis and home to some 30 million Catholics, allows abortions only in cases of rape or danger to the mother's health.

Fireworks and shouts of joy erupted among anti-abortion activists camped outside Congress, while pro-choice campaigners, many decked in the green scarves that had come to symbolize their movement, were downcast.

Natalia Carol, a 23-year-old supporter of legalized abortion, said she is "still optimistic". "This is not over". There are three exceptions: if a woman is raped, pregnancy puts her life in danger, or a fetus is brain-dead.

In 2016, released documents from Open Society Foundations (OSF) revealing Soros funding of the abortion front group International Women's Health Coalition (IWHC) through his Women's Rights Program (WRP), which has been working in Europe, Africa, Latin America, and Asia.

But passing a pro-abortion law will face hurdles in Brazil's increasingly conservative Congress, with a growing Evangelical Christian caucus that is staunchly opposed. A vote could come Wednesday or early Thursday.

There are at least 350,000 illegal abortions in Argentina every year, the Ministry of Health estimates, though global human rights groups say the number may be higher.

Many women in Argentina use misoprostol to end first-trimester pregnancies.

On Wednesday, he said regardless of the result, the vote and the surrounding debate was a victory for democracy in Argentina.

Prior to the vote, Argentine President Mauricio Macri said he would sign the bill if it passed, despite personally disagreeing with abortion.

Worldwide human rights and women's groups were following the vote, and figures such as US actress Susan Sarandon and Canadian author Atwood supported the pro-abortion cause in Argentina.

"The Argentine lawmakers chose today to turn their backs on hundreds of thousands of women and girls who have been fighting for their sexual and reproductive rights", said Mariela Belski, the group's executive director for Argentina.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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