Dozens protest in favor of abortion rights in Argentina

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Dozens of women clad in outfits reminiscent of “The Handmaid’s Tale” took to the streets of Buenos Aires Wednesday to protest for legalized abortion, the AP reported.
Abortion is currently illegal in Argentina except for in cases of rape or to save the life of the mother. Recently, however, the country’s Chamber of Deputies approved a bill that would legalize the procedure through the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. The bill would also allow people under the age of 16 to receive an abortion without notifying their parents.

Around the world, including in the United States, pro-abortion rights demonstrators have adopted regalia from The Handmaid’s Tale at their protests. The 1985 novel, which was recently adapted into a television series for the online network Hulu, tells the story of a dystopian future where women have no rights and some are forced to bear children for their masters.

The book’s author, Margaret Atwood, has publicly supported the Argentine protestors, and wrote them a letter that was read at the July 25 march. She has also criticized Argentine leadership for being against abortion.

The Argentine Senate will consider that bill Aug. 8, and President Mauricio Macri said he does not intend on vetoing the legislation if it passes the Senate. The bill passed the Chamber of Deputies by a vote of 129 to 125.

Both Macri and Vice President Gabriela Michetti have said publicly that they are opposed to abortion.

After the bill passed in the Chamber of Deputies, the country’s bishops lamented that they had much work to do with regards to the formation of their flock.

The vote exposed “weaknesses in our pastoral efforts: comprehensive sex education in our educational institutions, a fuller recognition of the common dignity of women and men, and the accompaniment of women at risk for abortion or who have gone through that trauma,” said the bishops in a statement.

“These are all calls from reality that call us to a response as a Church,” they added.

The country found in 2016 that an estimated 370,000 to 522,000 women in Argentina undergo an illegal abortion each year.

In March, hundreds of thousands of Argentines partook in a series of anti-abortion marches throughout the country on the Day of the Unborn Child. The biggest march, down the streets of Buenos Aires, saw about 150,000 people come out to show their support for life.

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