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Argentina’s Senate Votes to Legalize Abortion

Abortion-rights activists watch live video streaming of lawmakers in session, outside Congress in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Dec. 30, 2020, as Congress approved a bill that legalize abortion in Argentina.

Argentina’s Senate voted early Wednesday to legalize abortion, setting off cheers from the crowd of thousands of people gathered outside who supported the measure.

The 38-29 vote came after 12 hours of debate.

The bill allows abortions up to the 14th week of pregnancy. After that time, abortions are allowed in cases of rape or if the mother’s life is in danger.

The country’s lower house approved the measure earlier this month, and President Alberto Fernández supported it.

Fernández tweeted after the vote that “safe, legal and free abortion is now the law,” and that Argentina is “a better society that expands women’s rights and guarantees public health.”

Argentina is the largest country in Latin America to legalize abortion.

Pope Francis, who is from Argentina, reflected the Catholic Church’s opposition in a tweet before the vote. He wrote, “The Son of God was born an outcast, in order to tell us that every outcast is a child of God.”