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Elective Abortion Will Remain Illegal In Argentina After Senate Votes Against Bill

Argentinas Senate voted early Thursday to reject a bill proposing the nation legalize abortion, following months of protests and debate between pro-lifers and abortion advocates.

The Senate rejected the proposed bill 38 to 31, CNN reported Thursday. The vote comes after Argentinas lower house of Congress voted to legalize abortion until 14 weeks in pregnancy on June 14.

The bill would have allowed women to have abortions after 14 weeks in instances of rape or when the mothers health is in danger. A minor who was raped would also be allowed to abort without having to inform her parents or the authorities under the proposed bill. (RELATED: Argentina Congress Votes To Legalize Abortion Up To 14 Weeks)

Like in Ireland, the proposed legislation would have also mandated that privately owned Catholic hospitals perform abortions without exception. Exceptions would be given only to individual conscientious objectors.

The vote is “a step backward for womens rights and womens health,” Institute for Statecrafts Latin America program director, Celia Szusterman, told CNN. Its a “sad day … not only because of the way the vote went but the way the campaign for and against went. It was so divisive,” she also said.

The bill sparked intense debate ahead of Thursdays vote. Thousands of Argentinian pro-lifers gathered July 8 in front of Argentinas most famous shrine, the Shrine of Our Lady of Lujan, to pray the nation wouldnt pass the proposed bill. Hundreds of doctors also protested against allowing women to have elective abortions ahead of Thursdays vote.

“Argentina made the right decision in voting against expanding abortion in the country, and voting to remain a pro-life country,” Students for Life International Programs Director Ally Bowlin said in a Thursday statement. “Abortion does not help women, it harms them, and the Argentina senators who voted against legalizing abortion should be applauded for their courage in standing up to the abortion lobby.”

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