Argentina senate rejects bill to legalise abortion

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BUENOS AIRES, Argentina

Argentina’s senate has rejected a bill to legalise elective abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy.

Lawmakers debated for more than 15 hours and voted 31 in favour to 38 against, despite the fact opinion polls showed the legal abortion bill had strong public support

Pressure from the Catholic church prevented its approval, according to female activists who supported the bill. Argentina is the homeland of Pope Francis.

“The church put pressure on senators to vote against the bill,” said Ana Correa, an original member of the #NiUnaMenos (“Not one woman less”) feminist movement that supported the bill.Advertisement

The lower house had already passed the measure and President Mauricio Macri had said he would sign it.

Rejection of the bill means that abortion remains legal only in the case of rape and danger to the life of the woman.