Argentina Senate votes against legalizing abortion

Argentina Senate votes against legalizing abortion

The Argentine Senate on Thursday rejected [press release, in Spanish] a bill that would have legalized abortion in a 38-31 vote after a debate [BBC] that lasted for more than 16 hours.

The measure had passed in the Chamber of Deputies [website] two months prior to the vote, making it the first abortion legislation to successfully [WP report] make it out of the lower house.

The bill [text, PDF, in Spanish] would have decriminalized abortions and allowed women to terminate their pregnancies in the first 14 weeks of gestation for any reason. Its rejection by the upper house means that abortion will remain in the criminal code. A woman can face up to four years [El País report] in prison for having an abortion unless they were raped, the pregnancy poses a risk to their health, or the fetus is disfigured. Currently, there are only a few provinces in Argentina that have accepted health complications as viable reason to legalize abortion.

Abortion cannot be voted on again until the next legislative year, which will begin on March 1.