The Argentine Senate voted against a bill that would have decriminalised abortion during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy.
Senators voted 38-31 against the measure early on 9th August following a 15-hour debate. The measure had been approved in June by the lower house of Congress.
The Argentine bishops’ conference hailed the vote, saying the debate in the country opened an opportunity for dialogue and a chance to focus more on social ministry.
The Senate debate revealed deep divisions in Argentina, where support for decriminalising abortion drew stronger support in Buenos Aires, the capital, than in the more conservative provinces.
The vote came as a movement of women and supporters of the measure – wearing green handkerchiefs – filled the streets outside the Congress as voting occurred. Catholics, meanwhile, celebrated the Eucharist.
“Everyone has time to express their viewpoints and be heard by legislators in a healthy democratic exercise. But the only ones that didn’t have an opportunity de make themselves heard are the human beings that struggled to be born,” Cardinal Mario Poli, Pope Francis’ successor in Buenos Aires, said on 8th August in his homily at a what organisers called a ‘Mass for Life’.
In a statement after the vote, the bishops’ conference said it was time to address the ‘new divisions developing between us…through a renewed exercise of dialogue.’
Picture: Pro-life advocates celebrate in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 9th August after lawmakers voted against a bill that would have legalised abortion. The Senate voted against the bill, dashing the hopes of supporters of legal abortion in the predominantly Catholic country, homeland of Pope Francis. (CNS photo/Agustin Marcarian, Reuters).