Argentinean lawmakers took a major step on 11th Dec towards legalising abortion and fulfilling a long-awaited promise by president Fernández. Women’s rights and transgender concerns have for long been a primary issue to tackle for the present Argentinean government.
The bill was approved on December 11, 2020, in Argentina’s lower house of Congress by 131 to 117 votes. The approval came after months of relentless promises and wait accompanied by 20 hours of debate in the lower house.
After Argentina legalises the bill, it would come under the umbrella of the only few Latin American countries to legalise abortion. Moreover, Argentina would become the fourth country after Uruguay, Cuba, and Guyana to take such a step. In Latin America, strict abortions are a norm as Catholic teaching has long been the driving policy in its nations.
Argentina’s Abortion Bill Trajectory
In September over 1,000 pro-choice campaigners added their names to an advert published in Argentinean newspapers calling for the government to keep its commitment.
The advert titled “Legal abortion 2020” read: “The government assumed a public commitment to send a bill to congress. We need legislators to agree on a law to stop more women from dying.”
No Argentinean President except Fernández has dared to speak on legalising abortion. Furthermore, after he took on his position in December, people were expecting a lot from him. In March, President Fernández stood up to the expectations of people when he mentioned about legalising abortion in his inaugural speech. He said, “Society in the 21st century needs to respect the individual choice of its members to freely decide about their bodies.” The president promised to send a bill within ten days but on March 3 the country saw its first case of COVID-19. Following which in the succeeding months the country went through a lockdown and recession.
Since his stint at the office, Argentina’s President Alberto Fernández has prioritised the concerns and rights of transgender people and women, even when the country is going through a recession along with the pandemic.
A previous bill on legalising abortion was defeated in 2018.
What You Should Know
- Argentina to legalise abortion.
- The bill was passed in the lower house of Congress by 131 to 117 votes.
- After it legalises the bill, it would become the fourth country in Latin America to do so.
Sanskriti Tiwari is an intern with SheThePeople.TV.