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Hundreds of women protest outside Argentina's Congress demanding abortion rights

Hundreds of women protest outside Argentina's Congress demanding abortion rights
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By Daniel Bellamy with EFE
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At the moment abortion can only be legally performed if there's a threat to the woman's life or she's been raped.

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Hundreds of women have protested against Argentina's strict anti-abortion laws outside the country's Congress building.

On June 13th the Congress will vote on whether to relax the law and allow women to terminate their foetus in the first fourteen weeks of pregnancy.

It would also allow termination if there were serious fetal abnormalities or if the woman had been raped or her life was in danger.

At the moment abortion can only be legally performed in 9 out of 23 provinces if there's a threat to the woman's life or she has been raped.

Rights groups have criticised a requirement for a judge's permission, which often results in lengthy delays or denial of the procedure.

While Argentina's Congress has debated abortion before, the topic has garnered more attention since centre-right President Mauricio Macri said he was in favour of debate and would encourage his allies in Congress to vote as they saw fit even though he was personally opposed.

An issue that has divided political parties, the abortion proposal could pass the lower house but will likely face resistance in the more conservative Senate.

If the bill does pass both houses, Macri has said that he would not veto it.

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