The lower house of Argentina’s congress has approved a bill that would legalize elective abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy, sending the measure to the Senate.
President Mauricio Macri, who is strongly opposed to the bill, has said he’ll sign the bill if it’s approved.
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The measure has roused fierce passions in the homeland of Pope Francis, and Thursday’s vote was tight: 129 to 125.
Crowds of supporters and opponents of the measure have been watching the debate on large screens set up outside Congress in Buenos Aires.
They celebrated as the result was announced, cheering and hugging each other.
Argentina currently allows abortion only in cases of rape or risks to a woman’s health.
The Catholic Church strongly opposes the new measure.
It is uncertain whether it will be passed by the Senate, but Thursday’s result is being celebrated by women’s rights groups as a victory in itself.