With the passing of the legalize abortion bill, Argentina emerges as the very first prime Latin American Country to have such a law. Though Uruguay, Cuba, Guyana, Mexico city, and the states of Oaxaca were already on the list of the countries that legalized elective abortion, Argentina poised to come up as the largest country in the region to set this milestone. The bill was sanctioned by the lower house of Argentinian Legislation. After a 20- hour-long debate, the bill was finally approved on Friday morning by a margin of 131 to 117 votes. The leftwing President of the legislation, Alberto Fernandez, submitted the bill last month.
The bill was submitted keeping in mind the rights of women. Even two years ago, the society debated on this, but the bill was rejected as many of the senators were against the bill. This time too, the anti-abortion campaigners came forward with the thought of saving the developing life. The campaigners wore light blue and showed their disapproval regarding the bill in front of congress. They shared their thoughts and said that they are buoyant and hope that the government won’t approve the bill. Their voice seemed disappointed and stated, “it is a human being that a women carry in their wombs, not a rabbit”, it’s a life and we need to save it.
Until the passing of this bill, abortion was authorized but only in the cases of rape and in the scenarios where giving birth to a child might be a threat to the mother’s life. As soon as the news was released, the supporters of the bill were overjoyed and affirmed that this bill marked the victory of women’s rights. Green color holds a special meaning for Argentinian citizenry, it symbolizes the pre-choice crusade and women’s rights in general. The campaign supporters wore green masks and celebrated their win.
The highly persuasive Catholic church in Latin America opposed the move and asked the senators to cancel the bill. Pope Francis, who is originally from Argentina raised his voice against the bill saying that “both lives matter” and should be defended. He was among the key voices which said that women can not decide everything on their own and there should be a limit to it.
After the vote, the President, Alberto Fernandez said, “We are in a better society today”, he further added, “Even though I am a Catholic, it is my responsibility to legislate for everyone”.
Argentina has become an inspiration for other countries. More than 3000 women died in Argentina since the re-establishment of democracy due to abortion and around 38,000 women are taken to the hospital every year for the same. Looking at these figures, we can’t deny that this was a crucial step for women’s health.
The chamber of deputies passed this bill earlier this month, this bill not only legalized abortion up to the 14th week but also assured the women to provide free abortion during this term of pregnancy.
It’s high time for other countries to give it a think and defend women’s rights like Argentina did. Being the country with one of the most restrictive termination laws, Argentina managed to create history with this leading-edge law. The world should take some inspiration from Argentina and follow the suit for the betterment and upliftment of the status of women in society.