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After hours of debate, the Senate voted 38 to 31 against allowing legal abortions during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy.

Outraged by lawmakers' rejection of a bill that would have legalized abortion Wednesday night, women's rights advocates in Argentina clashed with police, who wore riot gear and sprayed tear gas at protesters.

Pro-abortion campaigners have for years tried to get bills passed, but their efforts gained new impetus when President Mauricio Macri - who himself opposes abortion - called on Congress to consider it.

In Argentina, abortion is only allowed in cases of rape and risks to a woman's health.

Demonstrations in support of the Argentine abortion bill were also held in countries such as Bolivia and Mexico.

While abortion-rights campaigners seemed to have a chance of success a few weeks ago, leaders of the Catholic Church spoke out against abortion, leading to senators from conservative provinces to vote against it, reported The New York Times.

In 2016, the organization sent 32 activists from Argentina and other nations to participate in the 60th UN Commission on the Status of Women. But despite that, an estimated half a million women have illegal terminations every year.

US -based organizations such as Live Action, Human Defense Initiative and the National Right to Life Committee expressed their opposition to the bill as well. "We have to go to the causes of abortion and not abortion as a solution".

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Volunteers and rescue personnel have erected more temporary shelters for the tens of thousands left homeless on the island. A Reuters witness said the latest quake sent people into the streets in panic and caused buildings to collapse.

For many of them, the methods used to induce an abortion include using an IV tube with a sharp wire clothes hanger or a knitting needle to try to break the amniotic sac inside womb.

Hundreds of physicians have staged anti-abortion protests, in one case laying their white medical coats on the ground outside the presidential palace.

Global human rights and women's groups have been closely following the vote, and figures such as US actress Susan Sarandon and "The Handmaid's Tale" author Margaret Atwood supported the pro-abortion cause in Argentina.

Jose Miguel Vivanco, director for the Americas at Human Rights Watch, said Argentina had a "historic opportunity" to protect the rights of women.

IWHC focuses its work in the UN, training worldwide abortion activists in the art of lobbying and preparing activists from a number of nations, including Argentina.

In March, when the abortion debate began, he had issued a letter urging Argentines to "make a contribution in defense of life and justice". There are three exceptions: if a woman is raped, pregnancy puts her life in danger, or a fetus is brain-dead.

In 2016, DCleaks.com released documents from Open Society Foundations (OSF) revealing Soros funding of the abortion front group International Women's Health Coalition (IWHC) through his Women's Rights Program (WRP), which has been working in Europe, Africa, Latin America, and Asia.


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