Celebrations and anger as Argentine Senate rejects abortion bill

Celebrations and anger as Argentine Senate rejects abortion bill
By Mark Armstrong
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There were celebrations, sadness, anger and violence after the Argentine Senate voted against a bill that would have liberalised the country's abortion law


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. For now, abortion will only remain an option in cases of rape or if the mother's life is in danger.

Senators voted by 38 to 31 to reject the bill that would have liberalised the law.

Pro-life and pro-choice campaigners had gathered outside parliament to hear the result.

"It was a bill against life from its conception, against women, said one anti-abortion woman, "that's why we are celebrating today. We celebrate democracy, federalism and the two lives, the woman's life and the life of the unborn child."

Those who campaigned for legalised abortion turned their anger on the Catholic Church, calling it trash and a dictatorship, an emotive term in Argentina, but There was also sadness at the decision

"There was a chance to make history, and we are perpetuating the same system that harms us so badly," said a pro-choice supporter.

For some pro-choice supporters, the anger turned to violence and they lit fires and threw missiles at police, and they say they won't give up their fight.

The debate in the Senate went on for more than 16 hours and was reportedly very passionate at times.

Argentina is an overwhelmingly Catholic country.

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