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Friday, April 23, 2021

Argentine Senate passes abortion bill

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Argentina on Wednesday became one of only a handful of South American nations to legalize abortion, after hours of debate in the Senate.

Pro-choice activists
Pro-choice activists

Hundreds of thousands of illegal abortions are carried out every year in the nation of 44 million, and pro-choice campaigners have long-urged authorities to put an end to dangerous backstreet terminations by legalizing the process.

Thousands of pro-choice activists cheered in the streets of the capital after the bill was approved 38 to 29, with one abstention.

It legalizes voluntary abortions at any stage up to 14 weeks of pregnancy.

Ahead of the vote, pro-choice and anti-abortion demonstrators had gathered outside parliament despite coronavirus fears.

The vote overturns a similar one in 2018 which, although also passed the lower house, ultimately foundered in the Senate by 38 votes to 31.

South America has some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world.

In Argentina, terminations were allowed in only two instances: rape, and danger to the mother’s life.

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