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Argentina Rejects Bill That Would Make Abortion Legal

Thousands of people marched on the streets of Argentina yesterday to support a bill that would allow women to have an abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. However, the outcome did not go in their favor as senators voted against legalizing abortion late in the evening.

The BBC is reporting that 38 senators voted against the bill and 31 voted in favor. The outcome of the vote resulted in “fires and lobbed missiles at police in Buenos Aires,” the BBC reports.

As the law currently stands in Argentina, women can only have an abortion if they are raped and/or if the pregnancy is affecting the mother’s health. The longtime heated debate stems from the countries Roman Catholic roots, however the pro-choice population is growing rapidly.

Even the former president of the country, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner who was against legalizing abortion while she was serving as president, says that she voted in favor now that she is a senator because of the overwhelming support of the people. The Guardian reports that an estimated 3,000 women have died in Argentina due to undergoing illegal abortions since 1983. Another staggering statistic: roughly 45,000 to 60,000 women have to be hospitalized each year after suffering complications from an illegal abortion.

Women all over the world showed up to support pro-choice women in Argentina and held their own protests. On social media #AbortoLegalYa (abortion legal now) was also trending.

Lawmakers now have to wait another year to propose such a bill again.