After 16 hours of debate in Argentina’s Senate, the bill that would allow abortion up to 14 weeks was voted down by a narrow margin.
Argentina is a predominantly Roman Catholic population who has a history of opposing abortion even though abortion is legal in cases of rape and health of the mother. Argentina is the birthplace of Pope Francis who just recently said that abortion is the “white glove” equivalent of Nazi eugenics practices. This bill has been one of the biggest public discussions in Argentina recently. Ppro-life Argentina President Mauricio Macri pushed legislators to vote on it and also said that he would sign the bill into law if it made it to his desk.
Pro-choice supporters were out lobbying as many people as possible. For a while, it looked as though they were really spinning the narrative and getting the votes they needed for the bill to pass. Both pro-choice and pro-life supporters held large rallies to show their support for the passing or defeat of the bill.
The measure barely passed the lower house, but when it hit the Senate, there was 16 hours of debate. During the debate, former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who was pro-life during her time as president, changed her tune and voted in favor of this bill. Senator Pedro Guastavino, a supporter of the abortion bill, said that he was dodging crucifixes from the Catholic Church who had tried to lobby him. Vice-President Gabriela Michetti, who is pro-life, was heard talking to her colleagues and swearing at them without realizing her microphone was on.
After all this was said and done, 38 Senators voted against the bill and 31 Senators voted in favor. The women in the Senate, 30 in all, were split evenly in their votes.