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Argentine Senate rejects legalizing elective abortion

Argentine Senate rejects legalizing elective abortion

In a victory for pro-life advocates in Argentina, the country's Senate rejected a bill on Thursday to legalize voluntary abortion into the 14 week of pregnancy. Opponents of the bill celebrated the decision on the streets outside Congress with fireworks as they waved Argentine flags.

Pro-life advocates from the country's Catholic Church likely helped swing the vote in favor of life.

The legalization bill can not be debated again until 2019, although some advocates of removing abortion restrictions have suggested promoting a bill for decriminalization as an alternative, according to Crux.

Following Thursday's vote against voluntary abortion, the Catholic Church in Argentina seeks to remain a place of welcome for mothers facing hard, unforeseen, or unwanted pregnancies.

Pushed by a wave of demonstrations by women's groups, the lower house had already passed the measure and conservative President Mauricio Macri had said that he would sign it, even though he is anti-abortion.

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

In 2016, DCleaks.com released documents from Open Society Foundations (OSF) revealing Soros funding of the abortion front group International Women's Health Coalition (IWHC) through his Women's Rights Program (WRP), which has been working in Europe, Africa, Latin America, and Asia.

USA -based organizations such as Live Action, Human Defense Initiative and the National Right to Life Committee expressed their opposition to the bill as well.

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Argentina now allows abortion only in cases of rape or risks to a woman's health, and activists say 3,000 women have died of illegal abortions since 1983.

The move to legalize abortion in Argentina is a "public health and human rights imperative", said New York-based Human Rights Watch.

"We're not deciding abortion yes or now". But in June, he said getting an abortion to avoid birth defects is similar to Nazi eugenics programmes.

At the same time, Cardinal Poli called on Catholics to find space in their communities to allow pregnant women in difficulty "to share their fears and to feel the embrace and tenderness of women who had the joy of giving birth to a child, despite all difficulties".

Many who support abortion rights also gathered to hear the result, wearing green scarves and headbands, which have become symbols of the pro-abortion cause.

Amnesty International had told Argentinian politicians that "the world is watching", and Human Rights Watch said the country had a "historic opportunity" to protect women's rights.

His sentiments were shared by 21-year-old Camila Sforza, who said she remained hopeful despite the setback.

"Just because the bill got shot down, it will not stop the movement", she said. 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.