Argentine Senate approves bill to legalise abortion

Argentina’s Senate has passed a landmark abortion bill, becoming the fourth country in Latin America to legalise the practice.

The Senate voted by 38 in favour to 29 against with one abstention to approve a bill allowing the procedure through the 14th week of pregnancy, bucking the traditionally strong influence of the Catholic Church in the region.

The contentious vote followed a marathon debate that began at 4pm (19:00 GMT) on Tuesday.

Tens of thousands of people packed into the square around the National Congress for a 12 hour debate, breaking into chants of  “legal abortion in the hospital” as the votes were counted.

“I can’t believe it,” said Viviana Rios Alvarado, 25, as she embraced her friend moments after the vote.

“So many things we’ve been through or that people we love have suffered through. It’s took too long, but now it’s here for others, and for us too. And that’s incredible,” she said.

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