Health, Americas

Argentina legalizes abortion despite public protests

Becomes 1st major South American country to legalize abortion

Vakkas Dogantekin   | 30.12.2020
Argentina legalizes abortion despite public protests Aerial view of the National Congress in Buenos Aires, on December 29, 2020, where legislators debate a bill to legalize abortion. Demonstrators for and against abortion gathered in separate areas outside the congress building as lawmakers debated a bill to legalize abortion. Pro-abortion activists wore green scarves which have become a symbol of their cause, in contrast with anti-abortion activists who often wear blue. Photo: Mario De Fina - Anadolu Agency

ANKARA

Argentina's Senate on Wednesday legalized abortion up to the 14th week of pregnancy, a controversial landmark bill hailed by pro-choice activists but condemned by religious groups in the predominantly Catholic country. 

The measure was approved after a 12-hour debate early morning in a 38 to 29 vote, with one abstention. The Senate building was surrounded by both opponents and supporters chanting slogans.

President Alberto Fernandez had earlier promised to sign the bill into law.

For and against protests in Arrgentina on the abortion

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA - DECEMBER 29: Pro-choice demonstrations, wearing green things, gather outside the National Congress as senators decide on legalization of abortion, in Buenos Aires, Argentina on December 29, 2020. Anti abortion demonstrators wore blue things during the protest. The proposal authorizes legal, voluntary and free interruption of pregnancy until the 14th week while allowing doctor's conscientious objection. It is the ninth bill to legalize abortion treated by the Argentine Congress and the first one publicly supported by the president of the country. ( Muhammed Emin Canik - Anadolu Agency )

''Safe, legal and free abortion is the law. I promised to do so on election campaign days. Today we are a better society that expands rights to women and guarantees public health...,'' he said on Twitter after the vote.

Backed by dozens of religious organizations, thousands of anti-abortionists in Argentina have held ''March for the unborn'' and ''Save both lives'' demonstrations against the bill since November.

Early December, the Chamber of Deputies voted 131 to 117 (6 abstentions) to approve the bill.

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