Argentina approves law to legalise abortion

(Photo: The Seattle Times)

Argentina’s lower house has approved a bill to legalise abortion.

The bill is backed by President Alberto Fernandez, and could set the tone for a wider shift in conservative Latin America. The draft law would provide for the legal termination of pregnancy until the 14th week. It was passed with 131 votes in favour, 117 against and six abstentions in the early hours of Friday morning.

It will now move up to the Senate, where an even tighter vote is anticipated.

Protesters supporting the bill gathered wearing green scarves for an overnight vigil to await the news.

Opposition groups, wearing light blue scarves, also took to the streets to demonstrate against the bill.

“In 2018 we were disappointed because we lost in the senate but we hope this time it will be different… It is a right that we deserve to save women’s lives,” Ursula Celentano, a pro-abortion activist, told Al Jazeera.

Anti-abortion protestors have received support from Pope Francis. In a letter addressed to protestors, the Argentinian Pope compared abortion to ‘hiring a killer’