Argentina’s Senate rejects bill to legalize elective abortion

Remigio Civitarese
Agosto 9, 2018

Argentina is a predominantly Catholic country and is also the homeland of Pope Francis.

Protesters have lit fires and thrown bottles at police after Argentina's senate rejected a bill to legalise abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy.

The debate in the Senate went on for more than 16 hours and was reportedly very passionate at times.

Prior to the vote, Argentine President Mauricio Macri said he would sign the bill if it passed, despite personally disagreeing with abortion. Current laws allow abortion only in cases of rape and when the mother's health is at risk.

Don't miss out on the latest news and information. Mario Fiad called abortion a "tragedy and said he opposed the legislation, arguing it is unconstitutional and violates worldwide treaties".

Paula Avila-Guillen, a director of Women's Equality Center, an abortion rights advocacy group, tells Reuters that the bill's supporters are prepared to regroup. The proposal was the subject of mass protests and the Aborto Legal Ya campaign, with supporters carrying signs on Wednesday displaying coat hangers and the word "Adios"-a reference to risky methods that have been used by women to terminate unwanted pregnancies".

Soros also funds the pro-abortion Human Rights Watch (HRW), which has worked to pressure pro-life countries to legalize abortion.

She added that the Senate had "therefore made a decision to agree on a system which forces women, girls and others who can become pregnant to undergo clandestine and unsafe abortions".

Activists in favour of the legalisation of abortion comfort each other outside the National Congress in Buenos Aires
Argentina Abortion Bill: Country Braces for Historic Vote to Legalize Abortion

In 2016, the organization sent 32 activists from Argentina and other nations to participate in the 60th UN Commission on the Status of Women.

Some resort to using a clothes hanger wire or knitting needle to break the amniotic sac inside the womb, others take toxic mixtures or herbs that can prove fatal.

Hundreds of doctors have staged anti-abortion protests, in one case laying their white medical coats on the ground outside the presidential palace.

The vote followed a referendum in Ireland, another traditionally Catholic country, in May that paved the way to legislate for the termination of fetuses.

Abortion rights supporters wore green scarves while anti-abortion activists donned baby blue. Amnesty International told Argentine legislators that "the world is watching".

In Brazil, which is home to the world's largest population of Catholics and fast-growing evangelical faiths, abortion carries a punishment of up to three years in prison.

Small groups rallied in other countries across the region to voice support for the Argentine abortion measure, including in Mexico, Brazil, Uruguay, Ecuador, Paraguay and Peru.

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