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Argentina legalizes abortion, a milestone for women and a setback for Pope Francis

#Buenos #Aires – #Argentina’s #Senate approved a law legalizing abortion on #Wednesday, a victory for the women’s movement after several decades of struggle and a setback for #Pope #Francis in his native country.

The regulation was approved with 38 votes in favor, 29 against and one abstention after a marathon session that started #Tuesday afternoon and lasted for just over 12 hours. The #Chamber of #Deputies had given him half a sanction on #December 11.

The law establishes that women and other people with gender identities with the capacity to carry a child have the right to access the voluntary interruption of pregnancy until the 14th week of gestation. #After this period, abortion will be legal only in cases of pregnancy due to rape or risk of life for the pregnant woman.

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“Safe, legal and free abortion is law. I promised to do this on election campaign days. #Today we are a better society that expands women’s rights and guarantees public health, ”said #President #Alberto #Fernández, who promoted the bill, in a message posted on #Twitter.

#It didn’t take long for #Francisco’s words to resonate in his native country not long after the historic vote.

“Christians, like all believers, bless #God for the gift of life. #To live is above all to have received life. #We are all born because someone has desired life for us, ”the pope said in a written message.

#Shortly before the vote he had dedicated another message to his compatriots on #Twitter in which he said that “the #Son of #God was born discarded to tell us that every discarded person is a son of #God. #He came into the world as a child comes into the world, weak and fragile, so that we can embrace our frailties with tenderness ”.

The approval of the law after successive attempts by the feminist movement to obtain the green light in #Congress was celebrated by a crowd of pro-abortion activists dressed in green clothes, the color that identifies them.

#On the other side of a fence, the so-called “heavenly” sector of those who oppose contemplated the screen through which they followed the historic session in despair.

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The organization #Amnesty #International celebrated the “achievement that serves as an inspiration for other countries in the region and the world to advance in the recognition of access to legal and safe abortion”.

“#Today we grew as a society … we are going to work so that the #State guarantees compliance with legal abortion throughout the country,” said #Mariela #Belski, executive director of #Amnesty #International #Argentina.

#Argentina, the third largest country in #Latin #America, joins a list that includes #Uruguay, #Cuba, #Mexico #City, the #Mexican state of #Oaxaca, the #Antilles and #French #Guiana among those that do not punish abortion in the region .

The #Unidad #Provida collective issued a statement in which it stated that “the early morning of #December 30, 2020 will henceforth be remembered as one of the most macabre days in recent history.”

The group regretted that in just one month, “politics showed its worst face” and endorsed the “selective discarding of people through the legalization of abortion on demand.”

“The political class voted for abortion in 2020; now, the celestial majority will answer at the polls in 2021 ″, he pointed out in reference to next year’s legislative elections.

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The only exceptions contemplated for abortions in #Argentina were cases of rape or risk to the mother’s integral health. #Despite this, several traditional provinces did not allow the practice of abortion.

#Clandestine abortions have caused more than 3,000 deaths in the country since 1983, according to authorities. #Every year around 38,000 women are hospitalized for these types of procedures.

The failures of recent years to implement a law were attributed to the strong influence of the #Catholic #Church on the political leadership.

#In the middle of the debate, with most of the legislators connected remotely due to the pandemic, the #Executive #Branch promised to make adjustments once the norm was regulated, in order to ensure the support of some of the undecided senators.

#Opposition senators anticipated that appeals for the unconstitutionality of the law will be presented.

The norm contemplates that the pregnant person must give their consent in writing to abort from 16 years of age. #Minors of that age will have to exercise their “rights through their legal representatives”.

#In addition, it includes the figure of conscientious objection by health professionals and private medical institutions in which all their doctors are against the practice, but establishes that centers that do not have professionals willing to perform the procedure should refer patients to another institution.

The doctor may not claim conscientious objection in the event that the health of the pregnant person is in danger.

#Health professionals who refuse to comply with the termination of pregnancy in the terms included in the law will be subject to penalties ranging from three months to one year in prison and the suspension of their professional license for twice the time of sentence.

The law also guarantees comprehensive and free abortion coverage in the public and private health system.

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