Abortion bill in Argentine senate expected to heat-up debate

WION Web Team
Buenos Aires Published: Dec 23, 2020, 11:58 AM(IST)

Current law allows for abortion only when there is a serious risk to the mother's health or in the event of rape. Photograph:( Reuters )

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The current bill is to be debated in the Senate on Tuesday next week. It is expected that demonstrations will be held both, for and against the bill

Argentina's Senate is due to decide next week on whether to give final approval to a bill that would allow abortion up to fourteenth week of pregnancy. The bill is backed by the government but has divided the society that has close ties with Roman Catholic faith. The bill has already been passed by the lower house of Congress on December 11.

"We have the right to be able to decide about our own lives, about whether we want to have children and, if we want to have them, how many we want to have. If we decide to interrupt the pregnancy, we have the right to do it autonomously and freely," Yamila Picasso, a 33-year-old activist, told Reuters outside Congress, where she was demonstrating.

Picasso is a member of the National Campaign for the Right to Legal, Safe and Free Abortion, which has been demanding the new law for years.

On the other side of the debate is Ana Marmora, a 29-year-old lawyer and journalist who is a spokeswoman for the Young Front, a group that rejects the legalization of abortion.

She told Reuters in an interview at the group's Buenos Aires headquarters that backers of the bill want women to be able to terminate pregnancies not out of need but simple desire.

A similar bill was defeated by Argentina's Congress in 2018. Current law allows for abortion only when there is a serious risk to the mother's health or in the event of rape.

The current bill is to be debated in the Senate on Tuesday next week. It is expected that demonstrations will be held both, for and against the bill.

(With Reuters inputs)

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