Argentina: A new initiative to deal with illegal abortion

By Norma Loto

Buenos Aires, July (Especial de SEMlac). - Since 2007, a bill on legal, safe and free abortion has been systematically submitted to Congress. On this occasion, it is being supported by 34 MPs and over 350 social, political and professional organizations.
Government data show that around 500,000 abortions are performed every year in Argentina and that over 80,000 women need to be hospitalized due to related complications.
"We urge legislators to face this social problem and work to formulate and implement public policies on comprehensive health care for and autonomy of women," a communiqué of the National Campaign for Legal, Safe and Free Abortion indicated.
It also made reference to the Supreme Court ruling of April 2013: "Women should have the right to resort to abortion if they get pregnant as a result of rape, or if they face any life risk."
Libres del Sur MP Victoria Donda hopes that the new bill will be discussed by the Health Commission at the House of Deputies next September.
She recalled that abortion is considered a human right by the United Nations.
President Mauricio Macri recently said that he defends life from conception to death.
"We, in turn, defend the lives and dignity of women who are forced to resort to illegal abortion," she emphasized.
"Their deaths can be prevented by decriminalizing abortion," said Raquel Vivanco, national coordinator of Mujeres de la Matria Latinoamericana (MUMALA).

What has happened in the last nine years?

This question was addressed by Marta Alanis, an outstanding member of Catholics for the Right to Choose.
She told SEMlac that there has been no political will to move toward decriminalizing abortion.
Soledad Deza, the defense lawyer of Belén, a young woman in prison after miscarriage, told SEMlac that the ruling political class is very much aligned with the Catholic Church. 
"The bill provides a new opportunity to meet a historic demand on reproductive justice, freedom and equality for all women," she concluded.

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