'This is not over': Argentina's Senate rejects bill to legalize abortion

'This is not over': Argentina's Senate rejects bill to legalize abortion

As Argentina's Senate begins debating the Law for the Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancies, to legalize abortions up to 14 weeks into pregnancy, preliminary counts suggest at least 38 of the country's 72 Senator will vote against a bill.

Argentine senators voted against legalizing abortion in all cases on Thursday, just weeks after the bill was passed by the lower house of Congress in June by the narrowest of margins.

The lower house of Congress had already passed the measure and President Mauricio Macri had said he would sign it.

Currently, abortion is allowed in Argentina in only three cases, similar to most of Latin America: rape, a threat to the mother's life or if the fetus is disabled. The dystopian novel's world of absolute female subjugation partly owes its inspiration to Argentina's past, according to author Margaret Atwood, who referred to the tens of thousands of forced disappearances carried out by the country's former military junta.

On the day of the vote, Cardinal Mario Aurelio Poli celebrated Mass to pray for the vote's positive outcome.

After spending almost eight hours rallying with fellow pro-lifers, Maria Curutchet said, "It was a very emotional day".

Senators in Argentina have voted against legalising abortion in the homeland of Pope Francis.

"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. These centers provide food, medical assistance, psychological counseling, and legal advice to pregnant mothers in difficulty. But despite that, an estimated half a million women have illegal terminations every year.

The bill has ignited passions and sparked widespread protests in Argentina, with anti-abortion campaigners protesting in the streets under blue "save both lives" banners and members of the opposing side in the debate donning green bandanas.

Natalia Carol, a 23-year-old supporter of legalized abortion, said she is "still optimistic".

There were even expectations that the conservative government might now move to decriminalize abortions following the wave of demonstrations by feminist groups that pushed the legislation before Congress.

The alleged "human rights" organization Amnesty International has been hammering Argentina to repeal its constitutional provision protecting preborn babies from abortion.

Argentina and Brazil are not the only Catholic nations where abortion has been at the forefront of the national conversation in recent months. "We can't implement as a public health policy a practice that everyone agrees is not good".

"It will happen because that's the world - to increase rights and this is one of the fundamental rights that is still not available to women in Latin America", said Szusterman.

Chile's Constitutional Court previous year upheld legislation ending the Andean nation's absolute ban on abortions, permitting the procedure when a woman's life is in danger, when a fetus is not viable or in cases of rape.

It's also legal in Mexico City while only in the Central American trio of El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua does it remain totally banned. He urged families to "accept the children that God gives to them".

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