Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Argentina: Senators reject bill to legalise abortion

Argentina Abortion Bill: Country Braces for Historic Vote to Legalize Abortion Legal abortion bill rejected in Argentina
Kenny Thornton | 11 August, 2018, 10:08

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.

After more than 15 hours of debate, a total of 38 senators voted against the abortion bill while 31 voted in favor, in spite of pressures from a wealthy abortion cabal with powerful backing from the mainstream media.

The Catholic Church and others, including some physicians groups, strongly opposed the legislation, arguing it would violate Argentine law that guarantees life from the moment of conception.

What would the abortion bill have done? .

While abortion rights activists waited for the decision under umbrellas, opponents gathered Wednesday night at a "Mass for Life" at the Metropolitan Cathedral, the church of Pope Francis during his tenure as the archbishop of Buenos Aires.

Pope Francis this year denounced abortion as the "white glove" equivalent of the Nazi-era eugenics program and urged families "to accept the children that God gives them".

Ahead of the Senate vote in Argentina, President Mauricio Macri called the debate "a win for democracy".

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.

Argentina's Senate has rejected a bill to legalize elective abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy.

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The Health Ministry estimated in 2016 that as many as half a million clandestine abortions are performed in the country each year, causing the deaths of dozens of women.

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. "Caring for life is the first human right and the duty of the State".

Current Argentine law only permits abortions in cases of rape, or if the mother's health is at risk.

Argentina's lower house - the Chamber of Deputies - approved the bill legalizing abortion in June, and on Wednesday, the country's Senate took up the issue.

"We're not deciding abortion yes or no".

In the immediate aftermath of the vote, the anger and upset was palpable as pro-legalisation demonstrators wept as they heard the news that senate had voted against the bill.

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.

"This is just the beginning - our movement will continue till we get the right to abortion", she said.

His sentiments were shared by 21-year-old Camila Sforza, who said she remained hopeful despite the setback. Amnesty International proceeded to publish an ad in the New York Times using the misinformation touted by Rubinstein.

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