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Celebrations and anger as Argentine Senate rejects abortion bill

Celebrations and anger as Argentine Senate rejects abortion bill

The Senate also could modify the bill and return it to the lower house.

Earlier in the day, scores of buses had brought people from around the country into Buenos Aires for the dueling rallies outside Congress.

Outraged by lawmakers' rejection of a bill that would have legalized abortion Wednesday night, women's rights advocates in Argentina clashed with police, who wore riot gear and sprayed tear gas at protesters.

Chile's constitutional Court previous year upheld legislation ending the Andean nation's absolute ban on abortions, permitting the procedure when a woman's life is in danger, when a fetus is not viable or in cases of rape.

"What this vote showed is that Argentina is still a country that represents family values", anti-abortion activist Victoria Osuna told Reuters. Macri said he was personally against abortion, but would sign the bill if it passed.

In Chile, the constitutional Court previous year upheld legislation ending the Andean nation's absolute ban on abortions, permitting the procedure when a woman's life is in danger, when a fetus is not viable and in cases of rape.

Amnesty International, a London-based human rights group, ran a full-page advertisement in the international edition of the New York Times on Tuesday depicting a clothes hanger to symbolize clandestine, unsafe abortions.

Hundreds of physicians have staged anti-abortion protests, in one case laying their white medical coats on the ground outside the presidential palace.

Margaret Atwood, author of "The Handmaid's Tale", also brought worldwide attention to the debate with an op-ed likening the country's anti-abortion laws to slavery.




Jose Miguel Vivanco, director for the Americas at Human Rights Watch, said that Argentina had a "historic opportunity" to protect the rights of women.

Catholic and evangelical groups protested abortion with the slogan, "Argentina, filicide (child murder) will be your ruin".

A partition was set up to keep the green-decked pro-abortion contingent separated from the anti-abortion activists who donned baby blue.

Rallies took place around the world in front of Argentine diplomatic missions, mainly in support of the bill.

Women's movements across South America have been pushing against decades-old abortion prohibitions.

The proposed legislation would have allowed abortions during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy for women and girls as young as 13.

In neighboring Chile, the Constitutional Court a year ago upheld a measure that would end that country's absolute ban on abortions, permitting abortions when a woman's life is in danger, when a fetus is not viable and in cases of rape. Had the proposal been adopted, Argentina would have become the largest Latin American nation to legalize abortion, after Cuba.

It is also legal in Mexico City.