Comienza el Debate en la Camara Alta del Congreso de la Nacion. Foto Luciano Ingaramo/Comunicaci—n ...

On Thursday morning, Argentina’s Senate rejected a bill which was set to legalize abortion following days of open debate.

The bill was narrowly rejected due to a community movement focused on defending reproductive rights. The group managed to push the bill to the top of the country’s legislative agenda and battled to dismiss activist groups all across the country.

The debate surrounding the decision caused people on both sides of the argument to come forward and march outside of Congress.

Similarly, the Roman Catholic Church held a “mass for life” in Buenos Aires’ main cathedral.

Many hoped that Argentina would become the catalyst for a pro-abortion movement around Latin America.

97% of women in Latin America live in countries which do not offer legal abortions. If the bill had passed in the Argentine Senate, the topic would have undoubtedly seemed more approachable for other countries.

The proposed bill split the Argentinian Senate almost in half. The bill called for women to be able to get an abortion within the first fourteen weeks of pregnancy.

Today’s decision comes as an upset, as a couple of weeks ago people were confident that the bill would pass. However, conservative groups and Catholic Church-related associations began to pressure legislators to stop the bill from passing.

However, this latest development wasn’t a complete failure for pro-life activists. Their protests and public appearances helped to de-stigmatize topics which are usually considered to be taboo in many South American communities, such as domestic violence.

These discussions not only influenced Argentinian society, but sparked activist waves in neighboring countries like Peru, Chile, and Uruguay as well.

Many legislators supported the bill, and activists are aware of this. They remain hopeful for Argentina’s future, as they believe that it won’t be long until they work something out.

Featured Image via Wikimedia Commons