Argentine Senate Rejects Abortion Legalization Bill - Hit & Run

11 Août, 2018, 10:06 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Thousands of pro-life demonstrators brought Buenos Aires to a standstill on August 4

Global reproductive rights advocates joined Argentinian women in mourning the bill's defeat, but credited the country's pro-choice movement with building momentum toward securing abortion rights in Argentina as well as across Latin America, where only Uruguay, Cuba, Guyana, and Mexico City allow abortion in early pregnancy.

Maria Paulina Rodriguez/EFE/NewscomThe Argentine Senate rejected a measure Wednesday that would have legalized abortion within the first 14 weeks of pregnancy.

Anti-abortion campaigners and clergy waved Argentine flags outside Congress as the result was announced at 3am local time (0600GMT), according to Reuters news agency.

Catholic and evangelical groups protested abortion with the slogan, "Argentina, filicide (killing one's children) will be your ruin".

What would the abortion bill have done? .

Pro-life activists rally outside the National Congress in Buenos Aires.

Following Thursday's vote against voluntary abortion, the Catholic Church in Argentina seeks to remain a place of welcome for mothers facing hard, unforeseen, or unwanted pregnancies.

In mid-June, Argentina's lower house voted in favor of the bill by just 129 to 125, thanks in part to the anti-abortion President Mauricio Macri's insistence on pushing the bill through the legislature.

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Despite the strict abortion ban, hundreds of thousands of women in Argentina are still having abortions.

Meanwhile, at the city's Metropolitan Cathedral, a "mass for life" was held in support of keeping laws unchanged.

Uruguay and Cuba are the only Latin American countries that now have broadly legalized abortion. Abortion is now allowed in cases of rape, or when the mother's health is at risk.

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

The move to legalize abortion in Argentina is a "public health and human rights imperative", said New York-based Human Rights Watch. In 2010, HRW claimed that Argentina's abortion ban violated worldwide treaties, even though none of the cited treaties mention abortions. "We have to go to the causes of abortion and not abortion as a solution".

The lawmakers defeated the bill as demonstrators gathered outside.

Argentina's Amnesty International director Mariela Belski said the senate's decision would only "perpetuate the circle of violence which women, girls and others who can become pregnant are forced into".

His sentiments were shared by 21-year-old Camila Sforza, who said she remained hopeful despite the setback. Chile had been the last country in South America to ban abortion in all cases, though several nations in Central America still have absolute prohibitions.

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