Argentina’s Senate has rejected a bill to legalise abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy.
The issue has divided the homeland of Pope Francis and scores of supporters and protesters of the new bill gathered in the street to await the result.
Politicians debated for more than 15 hours and voted on Thursday 31 in favour to 38 against.
Thousands of supporters wearing green handkerchiefs that represent the effort to legalise abortion and opponents of the measure wearing light blue, braved the heavy rain and cold temperatures in Argentina’s winter to watch the debate on large screens set up outside Congress.
There was an emotional reaction on both sides of the debate and those on the losing side protested into the night.
The demonstrations were largely peaceful, but small groups of protesters clashed with police, throwing firebombs and setting up flaming barricades.
The lower house of Congress had already passed the measure and President Mauricio Macri had said that he would sign it.
Argentina currently allows the procedure only in cases of rape or risks to a woman’s health.
Pope Francis this year denounced abortion as the "white glove" equivalent of the Nazi-era eugenics program and urged families "to accept the children that God gives them."
Activists estimate that 3,000 women in Argentina have died of illegal abortions since 1983.