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Argentina’s Pro-Choice Senators Fail to Get Enough Votes for Modified Bill

The camp against legalization is gaining momentum.

By | [email protected] | August 1, 2018 6:47pm

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The movement advocating for the legalization of abortion lost a battle today.

In the last meeting between the congressional commissions debating the bill before it’s sent to the Senate floor, the pro-choice “green” camp failed to get enough votes to amend certain parts of the document, already passed by the Lower House on June 14.

These changes were being pushed in an effort to get the support of key senators on the day of the vote that remain on the fence about it.

Although the green senators engaged in a tense debate with their counterparts over the number of votes necessary to support making the amendments, the pro-choice camp failed to succeed, which means that on Wednesday, August 8th, once it reaches the floor, senators will be debating the bill as it was passed by the Lower House. And this is a problem, since many lawmakers there remain opposed to it.

Next week, senators supporting the bill will still be able to propose the modifications they were not able to implement today, including the proposal to lower the pregnancy threshold from 14 to 12 weeks, enable institutions to be “conscious objectors” and not penalize doctors who refuse to perform abortions.

But most estimates are unfortunately pessimistic, since they indicate that there are already 35 senators who oppose any kind of abortion decriminalization. Taking into account that one senator has already announced she will abstain, and another will surely not attend the session due to being in a late pregnancy period, the “No” camp already seems to have half of the necessary votes. And since Vice President Gabriela Michetti – a staunch detractor of the bill who recently said she would not allow abortions even in cases of rape – would cast the deciding vote in case of a tie, things are looking bad for Argentina’s pro-choice movement.