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Pro-choice activists wore the green handkerchiefs that have become a trademark of their movement

Argentina legalises abortion

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Argentina’s Congress has legalised abortions up to the 14th week of pregnancy, a ground-breaking move for a region that has some of the world’s most restrictive termination laws.

Senators voted in favour of the bill after a marathon session with 38 in favour, 29 against and one abstention.

Until now, abortions were only permitted in cases of rape or when the mother’s health was at risk.

The bill had been approved by the Chamber of Deputies earlier this month.

Demonstrators attend an anti-abortion rally as senators debate an abortion bill in Buenos Aires, Argentina, December 29, 2020.Opponents of abortion also followed the debate but were separated from pro-choice demonstrators

The Catholic Church, which remains highly influential in Latin America, had opposed the move, calling on senators to reject the bill supported by centre-left President Alberto Fernández.

Pro-choice activists hope the passing of the law in Argentina – one of the largest and most influential countries in Latin America – will inspire other countries to follow suit.

Large crowds of campaigners both for and against abortion had gathered outside Congress in the capital Buenos Aires, following the debate on huge screens.

When the vote finally happened in the early hours of Wednesday, there was jubilation in the pro-choice camp.

About Charles Igbinidu

Charles Igbinidu is a Public Relations practitioner in Lagos, Nigeria

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