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Argentina Senate votes down abortion Bill

Argentina’s senators on Thursday voted against legalising abortion in the homeland of Pope Francis, dashing the hopes of women’s rights groups after the Bill was approved by the legislature’s Lower House months earlier.

The vote, with 38 against, 31 in favour and two abstentions, capped a marathon session that began the day before and stretched into the early hours of Thursday.

Fireworks and shouts of joy erupted among anti-abortion activists camped outside Congress, while pro-choice campaigners, many decked in the green scarves that had come to symbolize their movement, were downcast.

Some burnt garbage and wooden pallets and threw stones at riot police, who attempted to disperse them with tear gas and water cannon.

The vote followed a referendum in Ireland, another traditionally Catholic country, in May that paved the way to legislate for the termination of fetuses.

It also came after months of heated campaigns on the polarising issue.

The move was also condemned by Amnesty International, which said Argentina had squandered an historic opportunity.

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