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Argentina Legalizes Abortion in Big Shift for Women’s Rights

  • Law grants women right to choose until 14th week of pregnancy
  • Senate voted 38 to 29 in favor of bill after hours-long debate
Pro-choice demonstrators celebrate after the right to abortion is legalized, in Buenos Aires, on Dec. 30.

Pro-choice demonstrators celebrate after the right to abortion is legalized, in Buenos Aires, on Dec. 30.

Photographer: Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images 

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Argentina legalized elective abortion after an acrimonious internal debate, marking a historic shift toward women’s rights in one of Latin America’s largest Catholic countries.

The bill, approved by the senate in a 38-29 vote after a debate that stretched into the early hours of Wednesday, gives women the right to voluntarily terminate a pregnancy until the 14th week. It is a victory for President Alberto Fernandez, who had made its approval a key campaign pledge, and puts Argentina among the few countries in the region to allow the procedure.