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Celebrations take place as abortion bill passes in Argentina’s lower house

ARGENTINA has edged closer to legalising abortion after the lower house of parliament passed a Bill at the end of a marathon session lasting into the early hours of today.

The legislation was approved by 131 votes to 117 with six abstentions and now goes to the Senate, which blocked a similar Bill in 2018 in a 31-38 vote.

If the legislation passes this time, Argentina, will become just the third Latin American country after Cuba and Uruguay to legalise abortion.

Today’s lower-house vote was hailed as a “historic moment” by abortion-rights activists, who have led a high-profile campaign in the face of threats and oppression.

“I’m so excited. It is a historic demand and it has to do with solving a public health problem,”campaigner Laura Salome said outside Congress on Thursday.

Opposition from Argentinian Catholics has been encouraged by Pope Francis, who has compared abortion to Nazi eugenics with “a white glove” and urged families to accept the children “that God gives them.”

However, the Bill has the support of President Alberto Fernandez, who made legalising abortion a central plank of his election campaign.

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