Wednesday 1/20/21
HISTORIC

Argentinian Senate approves law legalizing abortion

Previous legislation criminalized abortion and punished not only the doctor performing the procedure but also the woman.
Pro-abortion activists react after lawmakers passed a bill that legalizes abortion, outside Congress. Photo: Matias Chiofalo/dpa.
Pro-abortion activists react after lawmakers passed a bill that legalizes abortion, outside Congress. Photo: Matias Chiofalo/dpa.

The Argentinian Senate on Wednesday gave the final approval to a law for the legalization of abortion in a historical vote.

The law, which was proposed by President Alberto Fernandez and had already been approved by the lower house, was adopted by 38 to 29 votes in the Senate.

The new legislation legalizes abortions until the 14th week of pregnancy.

Thousands of people demonstrated outside the Senate building during the 13-hour-long vote, some in favour and some against the law.

Pope Francis opposed

Pope Francis, who is Argentinian, expressed his opposition to the law. "Every outcast is a child of God," he wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.

Until now, abortions in Argentina were only allowed in specific cases, for instance in the event of rape or if the mother's life is in danger. This led to an estimated 370,000 to 520,000 clandestine abortions in Argentina each year, with recurring complications and fatalities.

Previous legislation, which dates back to 1921, criminalized abortion and punished not only the doctor performing the procedure but also the woman. A previous attempt to liberalize the law on abortion in 2018 failed in parliament.

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