Published: Thu, August 09, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Argentina's senate rejects abortion bill

Argentina's senate rejects abortion bill

The proposal can not be brought up for debate until next year, but Argentina's Senate is set to discuss abortion again late this month when it considers reforms to the country's penal code, reported La Nación.

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"There are positive points that have come out of this, first of all, that even when there are differing ways of thinking, there's a square in peace right now, with thousands of people defending their convictions", said Buenos Aires provincial Gov. Maria Eugenia Vidal, who was against the measure.

His sentiments were shared by 21-year-old Camila Sforza, who said she remained hopeful despite the setback.

"Just because the bill got shot down, it will not stop the movement", she said.

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 move was also condemned by Amnesty International, which said Argentina had squandered an historic opportunity. Thousands of women, a lot of them poor, are hospitalized each year for complications linked due to unsafe abortions - the main cause of maternal death. "We celebrate democracy, federalism and the two lives, the woman's life and the life of the unborn child".

Abortion has always been illegal in Argentina: Currently, if a woman is found to have undergone the procedure (in instances other than rape or if the mother's life is in danger), she can be jailed for up to four years.

Abortion rights supporters wore green scarves while anti-abortion activists donned baby blue.

It is also legal in Mexico City.

The prospect of legalization had energized women's groups and still retains a huge support from citizens. 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 unsafe methods that have been used by women to terminate unwanted pregnancies".

Rallies took place around the world in front of Argentine diplomatic missions, mainly in support of the bill.

Priests and nuns were joined by rabbis, imams and members of other Christian churches to oppose the bill.

With such division in the country, one lawmaker from the ruling party, Daniel Lipovetzky, suggested that the matter might end up being put to a referendum. That dealt a hammer blow to the Catholic Church, which is as revered in Ireland as it is in Argentina.

The question reached the Argentine Senate for the first time in history after the Chamber of Deputies, the lower legislative house, approved the measure in June.

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