Argentina Legalizes Abortion

Argentina Legalizes Abortion

Argentina has become the fourth and largest Latin American country to legalise elective abortion. Safe, legal and free abortion is now law. The project was initially presented by the Argentinian president Alberto Fernández. It was later approved in the Chamber of Deputies, almost two months ago, by 131 affirmative and 117 negative votes. Finally, on December 30th of 2020, the National Congress approved the Law of Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy with 38 votes in favor, 29 against and one abstention. 

Even though in recent decades abortion has become legal in many European countries, North America and other parts of the world, Latin America remains hostile for abortion rights advocates. In some Latin American countries, abortions are only allowed in extremely limited circumstances such as when the pregnancy is a result from rape or incest, when there are serious fetal abnormalities, or the mother’s life is at risk. However, in other countries abortion is banned altogether and those convicted of having an abortion are sentenced to decades in prison. Uruguay, Cuba, Guyana and now Argentina are the only countries in Latin America to allow abortion without restriction in early pregnancy.

Safe, Legal and Free

Once the law enters into force, every pregnant woman will be able to access for a free and safe abortion until the 14th week of gestation. The new law will provide the possibility of interrupting pregnancy without a time limit for mothers whose pregnancy is the result of rape or for whom their life is in danger. Regarding parental consent, women under 13 years of age may only abort with the assistance of one of their parents or legal representative. Those between 13 and 16 will only need authorization if the procedure compromises their health and those over 16 may decide for themselves.

The  Law of Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy will come into force this Thursday, January 14 at 6:30 p.m. Motherhood will now be desired or it will not be.

The coat hanger is a symbol of clandestine abortions. Complications derived from unsafe abortions are one of the main causes of maternal deaths in Argentina. 

“Not a single woman will die from clandestine abortion.”

My name is Dahiana Gussoni. I was born and raised in Costa Rica, a small country in Central America. Since little my parents have penetrated me this fear of going outside alone and being raped or killed. You might think they are exaggerating, but in reality they are not. There are lots of men that are not respectful in any way, there is always the chance of being touched or catcalled. It has happened to me even when I am walking with my dad. We are taught to live with it, to ignore and walk away from it. I certainly don't believe this is okay and SHOULD NOT be normalized like something women should bear with in their everyday life. Costa Rica is considered a peaceful and progressive country (it is the first Central American country to legalize same sex marriage), but it continues to have deeply sexist ideologies that defend the man as the head of the family; it prevails the belief that women must be submissive to male authority. This is shown on the 364 women that have been killed in almost a decade and a half in my country of only 4,999 million. Each of them had a name, a family and a future, but they died violently at the hands of men who believed they were their owners. They ended their existence out of a desire for dominance and control. I hope that through SHEQUALITY I can inform how women are treated in my country and in all Latin America to bring awareness and justice to all those women that are not here anymore. I believe that if women are still being murdered for the simple fact of being a woman, when girls continue to be raped, and laws to protect women are still being discussed in Congress our job as young women has not finished. It is our obligation to bring justice and raise our voices to stop this violation of human rights.

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