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Thursday, August 09, 2018, 15:19
Argentine Senate rejects historic abortion law
By Associated Press
Thursday, August 09, 2018, 15:19 By Associated Press

Argentina's Senate take their places ahead of a debate on a legislation that would decriminalize abortions in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Aug 8, 2018. (NATACHA PISARENKO / AP)

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Argentina's Senate has rejected a bill to legalize elective abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy.

The issue has divided the homeland of Pope Francis. Lawmakers debated for more than 15 hours and voted Thursday 31 in favor to 38 against.

Crowds of supporters and opponents of the measure braved the heavy rain to watch the debate on large screens set up outside Congress.

The lower house of Congress had already passed the measure and President Mauricio Macri had said that he would sign it.

Argentina now allows the procedure only in cases of rape or risks to a woman's health.

READ MORE: China, Argentina vow to strengthen cooperation

A woman, holding a sign with a message that reads in Spanish: 'Rich women have abortions, the poor ones die,' chants during a demonstration to show support for the legalization of abortion in Argentina where lawmakers are debating the issue, in front of the Argentine embassy in Lima, Peru, Aug 8, 2018. (RODRIGO ABD / AP)

Hundreds of doctors have staged anti-abortion protests, in one case laying their white medical coats on the ground outside the presidential palace. Feminist groups, in turn, have held demonstrations in support of the measure, often wearing green that symbolizes their movement or costumes based on author Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale.

Demonstrators against the decriminalization of abortion gather outside Congress in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Aug 8, 2018. (NATACHA PISARENKO / AP)

Demonstrators against the decriminalization of abortion gather outside Congress in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Aug 8, 2018. (NATACHA PISARENKO / AP)

Women chant during a demonstration to show support for the legalization of abortion in Argentina where lawmakers are debating the issue, in Asuncion, Paraguay, Aug 8, 2018. Abortion is illegal in Paraguay. (JORGE SAENZ / AP)

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