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Clashes in Argentina after plans to legalise abortion rejected

Clashes in Argentina after plans to legalise abortion rejected”

The Senate also could modify the bill and return it to the lower house.

While abortion-rights campaigners seemed to have a chance of success a few weeks ago, leaders of the Catholic Church spoke out against abortion, leading to senators from conservative provinces to vote against it, reported The New York Times.

Chile's constitutional Court past 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.

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.

"It was a bill against life from its conception, against women, said one anti-abortion woman, "that's why we are celebrating today".

Abortion has always been illegal in Argentina: Currently, if a woman is found to have undergone the procedure (in instances other than rape or if the mother's life is in danger), she can be jailed for up to four years. Moreover, efforts to present abortion as a health emergency, calling clandestine abortions the primary cause of maternal death in the country, statistics show that this claim is simply false. Feminists and other groups led even larger demonstrations in support of the measure, often wearing green that symbolizes the pro-abortion movement, or red cloaks and white bonnets like the characters from the novel-turned-TV series "The Handmaid's Tale".

Abortion rights supporters wore green scarves while anti-abortion activists donned baby blue.

Jose Miguel Vivanco, director for the Americas at Human Rights Watch, said Argentina had a "historic opportunity" to protect the rights of women.

In March, when the abortion debate began, he had issued a letter urging Argentines to "make a contribution in defense of life and justice".

IWHC focuses its work in the UN, training global abortion activists in the art of lobbying and preparing activists from a number of nations, including Argentina.

Anti-abortion supporters in Argentina celebrated on Wednesday night after the Senate rejected a bill that would have legalised terminations in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. 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.

In neighboring Chile, the Constitutional Court a year ago upheld a measure that would end that country's absolute ban on abortions, permitting abortions when a woman's life is in danger, when a fetus is not viable and in cases of rape.

It is also legal in Mexico City.



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