Argentina’s Senate passed a law legalizing abortion early Wednesday after a marathon 12-hour session.
The vote means that abortion will be legalized in Pope Francis’ homeland up to the 14th week of pregnancy, and also will be legal after that time in cases of rape or danger to the mother’s life.
The measure was passed with 38 votes in favor, 29 against and one abstention, after a session that began late Tuesday.
Argentina will be the largest Latin American country to legalize abortion. But it remains illegal in Uruguay, Cuba, Mexico City, Mexico’s Oaxaca state, the Antilles and French Guiana.
Argentina until now has penalized women and those who help them abort. The only exceptions were cases involving rape or a risk to the health of the mother, and activists complain even these exceptions are not respected in some provinces.
This is a major victory for women in Argentina who have been fighting for the right for decades.