Anti-abortion demonstrators react after the senate passed an abortion bill, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, December 30, 2020. REUTERS/Martin Villar NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES REFILE – CORRECTING AFFILIATION


Argentina’s legislators legalized abortion Wednesday, a significant victory for women who fought for years for safe, legal access in the conservative Roman Catholic region. The law could pave the way for similar actions across the region. 

“We did it sisters,” tweeted Monica Macha, a lawmaker with President Alberto Fernandez’ center-left ruling coalition, in Spanish. “We made history.” 

The measure passed just two years after it failed by a cliffhanger margin and overcame voracious objections by Pope Francis, an Argentinian. Both sides wept at the 38-29 margin, with one opponent telling a crowd, “We are witnessing a defeat of life. But our convictions do not change. We are going to make ourselves heard.”

The law will legalize abortion in all cases up to 14 weeks of pregnancy. Abortion in Argentina, South America’s third-most populous country, is currently only permitted when a pregnancy results from rape or endangers the life or health of the woman. Young women fought because the restrictions have led to unsafe and unsanitary procedures: Argentina President Alberto Fernandez said more than 38,000 women are hospitalized every year because of illegal abortions. Worldwide, approximately 121 million unplanned pregnancies occur each year. Latin America has the highest abortion rate, 44 per 1,000 women.


This section includes an aggregation of articles showing different viewpoints on the topic.

How Argentina became the first Latin American country to legalise abortion – The Independent – 12/30/2020
On Wednesday morning, Argentina’s senate voted by 38 in favour to 29 against with one abstention to approve the landmark legislation after a 12-hour debate – signaling a major victory for feminist activists who have been striving to overhaul highly restrictive abortion laws for over three decades with a slew of near misses.

In 2020, TV and film still couldn’t get abortion right – Salon – 12/29/2020
For the last eight years, we’ve been studying onscreen depictions of abortion. We’ve found that Hollywood tends to dramatically exaggerate the medical risks associated with abortion while downplaying real barriers to access.

What Argentina’s ‘green handkerchief’ movement is all about – CNN – 12/30/2020
As 2020 comes to a close, there’s a bright spot at the tail end of a long, dark year: Argentina just made women’s rights history.


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