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Abortion: Lower House speaker’s vote could define outcome

There is a three-vote difference, with undecided lawmakers numbering between 10 and 15, one lawmaker from the ruling coalition Cambiemos says.

Wednesday 13 June, 2018
Lower House Speaker Emilio Monzó.
Lower House Speaker Emilio Monzó. Foto:Noticias Argentinas

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The vote in Argentina’s Lower House today on a bill to decriminalise elective abortion could come down to Speaker Emilio Monzó’s vote.

Based on a current vote count, the bill to decriminalise abortion without judicial authorisation in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy will not pass the Lower House. If it does pass, by the slightest of margins, it will also struggle to pass the Senate, observers predict.

Lawmakers are today expected to sit for a 20-hour-long session that will last well into Thursday morning.

“I would say that we have a two- or three-vote difference and that the undecided (lawmakers) number between 10 and 15”, said ruling Cambiemos coalition lawmaker Daniel Lipovetzky, who has presided over a special legislative committee procedure since March.

The last time the speaker of a chamber decided a vote in Argentina was when former vice-president Julio Cobos broke with then president Crsitina Fernández de Kirchner to vote against a controversial taxation measure on agricultural exports.

Supporters for and against elective abortion will gather outside the country’s Congress from Wednesday midday. Police have announced they will split Plaza de Congreso in two, giving each side one half of the square.

-TIMES

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