Abortion Reform Bill Passes In Lower House
A bill that could fundamentally redefine abortion access in Argentina is one step closer to becoming law. Thursday morning lawmakers from the chamber of deputies voted to pass the bill 129-123. The vote, which was expected to be incredibly close, lasted a marathon 22 hours.
The bill will now move to the Senate, where stronger opposition is expected.
Currently abortion is criminalized in Argentina with the exception of rape or threat to the mother’s health. The new bill would legalize elective abortions up until the 14th week of gestation.
President Mauricio Macri stated that he would not veto the bill if it were to pass through Congress, though he is personally opposed to abortion.
From A Movement To A Bill
Bringing abortion reform in front of Congress was a product of a hard fought movement by many Argentine activists. Ni Una Menos, a feminist organization dedicated to fighting femicide in Argentina, has been largely credited with shifting national opinion of abortion and elevating the bill to a vote. Ni Una Menos was founded in 2015 after the murder of Daiana García.
Though figures from public opinion polls vary, it’s clear that Argentina has experienced a rapid shift in support of legalized abortion. While 2016 polls reported that only 26% of the population favored legal abortion, 2018 figures place public support between 39-44%.
Moving Forward: One Step Closer to Legalized Abortion in Argentina
If Argentine lawmakers were to pass the bill, Argentina would join only a small handful of countries in Latin America with access to decriminalized abortion. Cuba Uruguay, Guyana, and the State of Mexico have also legalized elective abortions. 97% of women of reproductive age in Latin America live in countries where abortion is criminalized.
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