Argentines protest ahead of abortion bill vote

Outside of Argentina's Congress in Buenos Aires, women protested on Thursday in support of legalising abortion.

This comes days ahead of an upper house vote on an abortion bill backed by the centre-left President, Alberto Fernandez, who called abortion a 'public health issue.'

Brenda Hamilton is one of the protesters:

"Today we are once again on the streets because this is where we always win our rights. We know that the debate in the Senate is much more difficult and for that reason we have to continue our efforts"

If passed, Argentina would become the first large Latin American nation to legalise the procedure on broad grounds, allowing women to abort a pregnancy at up to 14 weeks.

The bill is now more likely than ever to pass after going through the lower house last week, although it still faces challenges.

The Roman Catholic Church, influential in Latin America, prohibits abortions unless the pregnancy was a result of rape or puts a mother's health at risk.

Campaigners are calling for the church to stay out of politics.

Previous attempts to legalise abortion have failed, most notably in 2018 in a 38-31 narrow Senate vote under a conservative-led government.

Campaigners say that the tie-breaking vote, if needed, will go to former president, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, now vice president and Senate head.

The Senate is set to vote on the abortion bill December 29.