Women in Argentina keep on fighting for their right to choose
They're promoting, once again, the abortion's decriminalization.
After the most restrictive U.S. anti-abortion law was recently passed in Alabama, groups of women around the world raised their voices to demand, once again, their right to make decisions over their bodies.
Argentine women, for example, don't give up: this week they introduced, for the eighth time in their country's history, the abortion's decriminalization project to Congress.
It happened during last International Day of Action for Women's Health and in the middle of a national demonstration that painted 100 cities green in Argentina (green is the color that the pro-choice Campaign adopted), including Buenos Aires, where the Congress is located.
This proposal for the decriminalization of abortion during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy was approved last year by the Chamber of Deputies in the National Congress but got rejected by only a few votes in the Senate.
The document had some modifications for this new Campaign:
- The figure of "woman" is replaced by "identities with gestational capacity," in order to include people who don't identify as a woman and need to have a legal abortion procedure.
- The project tries to decriminalize abortion before the 14th week of gestation, but also when the life or health of the pregnant person is at risk, and in cases of rape (which is already contemplated in the Penal Code since 1921 but is not always fulfilled).
- This time the project does not include conscientious objection from health professionals, something that was included in the previous document.
- They ask for the implementation of Sexual Education in schools (they hope to present abortion as a right and not as a problem) and to have counseling on sexual and reproductive rights in health centers.
- The document keeps the authorization by an adult for abortions of persons under 13 and up to 16 years old as a request, but always taking as a priority the decision of the person who is pregnant.
- And in those cases of people with disabilities or limited abilities, the consent must be exclusively personal.
Unlike last year - when the discussion of the project divided Argentina in two and got finally rejected after a great national debate - this time there are more obstacles in the road.
As LA NACIÓN reported, the deputies themselves consider it unlikely that the project will be even be debated this year. And if it comes to it, it will probably be in November, after the presidential election.
In any case, if the Chamber of Deputies approves the project as it did in 2018, only a change of members in the Senate would allow a victory this year (for now, the same people from last year are the ones who make the decisions).
Besides, this year the Congress is not fully operational due to the election campaign.
But none of this stops "las pibas," as they call themselves.
"We are days away from closing lists, and the next composition of the Congress depends on whether the project can come out. Our goal is to make the right to abortion visible and that candidates express themselves about it," said Victoria Tesoriero, a member of the pro-abortion Campaign.
And they did it, at least from the two leading candidates for President.
Opposition candidate Alberto Fernandez, an ally of Cristina Fernandez-Kirchner, said there was "no need to move so quickly towards legalization," although he said that the Argentinian society needed to be more educated in the matter.
Mauricio Macri, the current President of Argentina and candidate for re-election, allowed the debate last year in Congress, but remained apart and declared himself against abortion in general, although he supported the idea of women having the freedom of choice.
What position will he take this time? Probably the same.
In any case, why should men have an opinion and legislate about women's bodies?
It's 2019, for God's sake.