On Thursday, MPs in Argentina rejected the law aimed at legalising abortion despite the fact that the draft bill had been approved by MPs in June (see In Argentina, the Chamber of Deputies launches ambitious bill on abortion in challenging circumstances and In Argentina, draft abortion bill passed to the Senate). The bill calls for the authorisation of abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy.
According to official results, senators rejected the bill by thirty-eight to thirty-one. Two abstained.
A few hours after the Senate rejected the draft bill, the Argentinian government announced that efforts would now focus on prevention. The Head of State confirmed that sex education would be increased in schools. It is scheduled for inclusion in theory, but is not taught.
The Head of the government, Marcos Pena, reiterated that the parliamentary debate would continue.
On 21 August, the executive proposed a reform of the penal code to parliament, which could lead to decriminalisation of abortion. Currently, a woman who undergoes an abortion in Argentina is liable to a prison sentence.
Bishop Alberto Bochatey, Head of the Church’s anti-abortion committee declared: “There is no conqueror and no conquered. The Senate’s vote gives us time to reflect on humanist proposals for pregnant women who find themselves in difficulty”. He called for a replacement of“the 20th century’s outdated proposals of death by 21st century proposals”, qualifying the position of the anti-abortion movement as “modern” deeming abortion practices to be “old laws of a by-gone century”.