Argentina's Senate Rejects Legalizing Abortion, Dashing Hopes Of Rights Advocates

  • Argentina's Senate Rejects Legalizing Abortion, Dashing Hopes Of Rights Advocates

Argentina's Senate Rejects Legalizing Abortion, Dashing Hopes Of Rights Advocates

Argentine senators rejected a bill to legalize abortion after an impassioned debate ran into the early hours of Thursday, pushing back against a groundswell of support from a surging abortion rights movement.

In neighboring Brazil, supporters and opponents of abortion recently testified before the Supreme Federal Tribunal in an extraordinary session on whether to allow elective abortions during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

Argentina's Senate rejected a bill that would have legalised elective abortion for pregnancies of up to 14 weeks.

After a marathon debate, 38 senators voted against it and 31 in favour.

Crowds gathered outside Argentina's National Congress in the capital, Buenos Aires, to watch the vote on large screens.

The lower house had already passed the measure and conservative President Mauricio Macri had said that he would sign it, even though he is anti-abortion.

Argentina now allows abortion only in cases of rape or risks to a woman's health, and activists say 3,000 women have died of illegal abortions since 1983.

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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. Mario Fiad called abortion a "tragedy and said he opposed the legislation, arguing it is unconstitutional and violates worldwide treaties". We will continue to stand with women in Argentina. 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.

USA -based organizations such as Live Action, Human Defense Initiative and the National Right to Life Committee expressed their opposition to the bill as well.

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.

For months, hundreds of doctors in Argentina had 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.

The move was also condemned by Amnesty International, which said Argentina had squandered an historic opportunity.

A partition was set up to keep the green-decked pro-abortion contingent separated from the anti-abortion activists who donned baby blue.

IWHC focuses its work in the UN, training global abortion activists in the art of lobbying and preparing activists from a number of nations, including Argentina. There are three exceptions: if a woman is raped, pregnancy puts her life in danger, or a fetus is brain-dead.