Argentina’s Congress approves abortion bill

Latest news

    Pro-choice demonstrators participate in a concentration to support an abortion legalization law, near Argentina’s Congress in Buenos [Jorge Saenz/AP Photos]

    The lower house of Argentina’s Congress on Thursday narrowly passed a bill to legalise abortion through 14 weeks of pregnancy after a tight vote on a proposal that has divided the South American nation.

    The proposed legislation would allow abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy, and beyond that in cases where the foetus suffers from conditions not compatible with life outside the womb. 

    After an all-night debate,129 members voted in favour and 125 against. The bill will now go to the Senate.

    “We are dealing with a public health issue that cannot be addressed with blinders, nor with morals and ethics and much less religion,” opposition congresswoman Mayra Mendoza, one of the driving forces of the proposal, said in a speech.

    “This is also a matter of social justice.”

    The Catholic Church opposes the initiative, with Cardinal Mario Poli saying that “the foremost duty of a state is to protect the life of its inhabitants.”

    The opposition, as well as allies of President Mauricio Macri, were divided.

    Macri has encouraged his party members to vote as they see fit even though he is personally opposed to the proposal.

    “Today, Argentina has committed to make significant progress in defending the human rights of women and girls, and is also sending an important message to the rest of the continent, where restrictive laws on accessing safe and legal abortions have caused death and suffering for millions of women and girls,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

    New legislation 

    The law would also allow doctors to refuse to perform abortions if they so wish. Girls between ages 13 and 16 would need permission from an adult to receive an abortion.

    Argentina, like most countries in Latin America, currently permits abortion in specific cases, including rape and risk to the mother’s life.

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

    The bill emphasises the danger Argentine women face in seeking clandestine abortions, particularly poor women. A letter signed by several social organisations and human rights groups urged legislators “not to turn their backs on women.”

    More than 60 percent of Argentinians – especially young people – are in favour of legalizing abortion, according to a poll by the social sciences faculty of the University of Buenos Aires.

    An estimated 500,000 unsafe abortions are performed annually in the South American country.

    Argentina recorded 245 cases of maternal mortality in 2016, according to official figures quoted by the website Infobae. Of these, 43 were due to abortions or miscarriages.

    View the original article: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/06/argentina-congress-approves-abortion-bill-180614142017956.html

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies

    In the same category are

    Thousands march to support independence vote in Taiwan Thousands of people have rallied in Taiwan's capital to call for a referendum on independence, in the first major protest calling for a popular vote ...
    DRC journalists set free after police detention Five journalists arrested by the police in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have been released after 12 hours of interrogation. The journali...
    Brazil: Bolsonaro continues to lead polls amid fake news scandal Sao Paulo - Brazil's turbulent election enters its final phase with far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro poised for victory amid a high-profile fake-new...
    Tanzania: Abducted tycoon Mohammed Dewji returns home Tanzanian tycoon Mohammed Dewji, who was kidnapped a week ago in Tanzania's economic capital Dar es Salam, has returned home unharmed. Dubbed as Afri...
    Indians protest after train accident kills dozens Angry relatives staged a protest on Saturday on the tracks where a speeding train ran into crowds celebrating a Hindu festival, killing around 60 peop...
    Five things you should know about the US progressive surge Protests enveloped Washington, DC and other cities, where the streets teemed with hundreds of thousands of demonstrators on January 20, 2017, when Don...

    Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.