(AFP) The Senate of Argentina approved the legalization of abortion, with 38 votes in favor, 29 against and one abstention, announced the president of that chamber Cristina Kirchner this Wednesday, two years after a similar initiative failed.
“It becomes law,” Kirchner declared after more than twelve hours of debate.
In Argentina, abortion is allowed in the event of rape or risk of life for women since 1921, when then-president Hipólito Yrigoyen ruled.
With this law, the termination of pregnancy can be up to the 14th week of gestation.
President Alberto Fernández was the promoter of the initiative inspired by the principles of the Campaign for Legal, Safe and Free Abortion organization, identified with green, a color that stained mass demonstrations.
“This law does not force an abortion. It does not promote abortion. It only gives a legal and safe framework (…) if my vote helps to save a woman from losing her life, I vote in favor of this law,” said the Senator of the ruling Frente de Todos (FdT) Sergio Leavy.
Tens of thousands of protesters in favor and against the Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy (IVE) occupied the streets surrounding the Congress, with posters and flags, on a hot day in the southern summer.
It is estimated that annually between 370,000 and 520,000 clandestine abortions are performed in Argentina. Dozens of women die as a result of these practices, which are aggravated when the context is one of poverty.