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Argentina Working On Expanded Abortion Rights

Abortion is a touchy subject for latin women and lawmakers, due to the heavy conservative influence across the region. But Argentina has been making steps towards expanded abortion rights.

On the 6th of March, over 70 members for the Argentine Congress pledged support for a bill that would decriminalize abortion, allowing Argentinean women to get legal abortion within the first 14 weeks of their pregnancy, without being hit with criminal charges, regardless of the reason for the abortion.

In the past 13 years, Congress has received 6 similar bills, which have all been thoroughly rejected. Currently, Argentinean law only allows for abortions if the woman’s health is compromised by the pregnancy or if the pregnancy was the result of sexual assault.

The bill will now fall under consideration by the Congress, and has done much to lift the spirits of feminist activists across the country, due, in part because of the National Campaign for the Right to Legal, Safe and Free Abortion group’s large contribution to the bill. Notably, the religious Argentina’s Catholics for the Right to Decide-Argentina (CDD-Argentina), is one of the major driving forces for the National Campaign.

The proposed bill, which will expand abortion access for latin women in Argentina, is the result of a grassroots movement aimed at advancing the right to choose. Back in February, Argentinean women flocked to the streets, demanding access to safe, legal abortion. The protestors were marked by green scarves, with the emblem of the National Campaign, and gathering in plain view of the National Congress. Meanwhile, the hashtag #LegalAbortionNow trending across social media in the country.

All of these things sent a clear message: that the government must acknowledge the issues with abortion restrictions, which are reportedly leading women across the country to head for back-alley providers to end unsafe and unwanted pregnancies.

Back in March 2, President Mauricio Macri called upon the Congress to open the discussion on abortion, despite staying a safe distance from the topic. He repeated his own, anti-abortion stance, and set parameters for a discussion, which should take into account a wide range of opinions and restrictive. Macri’s actions look as if he’s realizing that, in spite of his views on the topic, Argentina wants changes.

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