Argentina lawmakers voted Thursday in favor of legalizing abortion up to 14 weeks, a move that has caused much celebration and outrage in the country.
Argentina’s lower house of Congress voted 129 to 125 to legalize abortion until 14 weeks in pregnancy Thursday. The bill also allows women to have abortions after 14 weeks in cases of rape or where the mother’s health is in danger. The vote marks a significant day for men and women in Argentina; however, abortion will not become legal until the Senate approves the bill.
“This is a great day for all women. Women are proud to be taking this step,” said Silvia Lospennato, a lawmaker who voted for the bill, The Wall Street Journal reported. “Women are going to fight for equality, whatever it costs.”
“I’m very excited, we fought so many years for this law,” said teacher Maria Leivas, who rallied outside Congress while the lawmakers debated for nearly 22 hours. “Now, we are going to fight for its approval in the Senate,” she added.
Thousands of pro-abortion activists rallied outside Congress Wednesday night while the lawmakers debated the measure. Equal numbers of pro-lifers made up the crowds as well, holding signs reading, “I march for life,” and “Don’t kill me.”
“I’m embarrassed as an Argentine and as a Catholic over what is happening,” said pro-life lawyer Raul Mansilla, The WSJ reported. “We’ve lost all our principles and moral values that our grandparents and parents left us.”
Pope Francis, who was born in Argentina, made no remarks leading up to or after the vote. Like Ireland, which legalized abortion on May 26, Argentina remains a heavily Catholic country. A Latino poll reported that 76 percent of Argentinians are Christian and 66 percent are Roman Catholic. (RELATED: Here’s How American Pro-Lifers Responded To Ireland’s ‘Yes’ To Abortion)
Argentinian President Mauricio Macri is pro-life but told reporters that he would not veto the bill if the Senate approves the measure.
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