#Argentina’s #Senate passed a law on #Wednesday that legalizes abortion, a victory for the women’s movement after several decades of struggle and a setback for #Pope #Francis in his native country.
The passage of the law after successive attempts by the feminist movement to get it the green light in #Congress was celebrated by a crowd of pro-abortion activists. “#It’s already law! ‘#It’s already law!” #Chanted thousands of #Argentines.
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 with a majority of men in the #Senate. The #Chamber of #Deputies had given him half a sanction on #December 11.
#Of the 70 senators in debate, two of them were absent: former president #Carlos #Menem, who is hospitalized in serious health, and #José #Alperovich, on leave for rape accusations. They both reject abortion.
The initiative, promoted by the #Government of #Alberto #Fernández and which received a half-sanction from the #Chamber of #Deputies on #December 11, establishes that women and other people with gender identities with the capacity to gestate have right to access voluntary interruption of pregnancy until week 14 of the gestational process. #After this period, abortion will be legal only in cases of pregnancy due to rape or risk of life for the pregnant woman.
#Now that the law has been approved by the #Senate, it only needs to be promulgated by the president.
“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.
#In 2018 the #Senate wrecked a similar initiative.
#Women and feminist groups in favor of the legalization of abortion, known as the green tide, gathered outside the legislature on #Tuesday to follow the discussion through huge screens that broadcast the debate and awaiting the vote of the senators.
#Argentina until now penalized women and those who help them to abort. The only exceptions contemplated by law were cases of rape or risk to the integral health of the mother, included in protocols that are not followed in some eight provinces of the country, according to complaints from legislators.
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.”
#Clandestine abortions have caused more than 3,000 deaths in the country since 1983, according to authorities. #Every year around 38 thousand women are hospitalized for this type of procedure.
The failures of recent years to implement a law were attributed to the strong influence of the #Catholic #Church on the political leadership.
#To take into account
#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.
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.
#With AP information
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