The Coronavirus Outbreak Has Stalled Argentina’s Historic Effort To Legalize Abortion
President Alberto Fernández promised to make Argentina the largest Latin American country to decriminalize abortion. Then a pandemic
By Travis Waldron, HuffPost US
Three weeks ago, Argentina was on the brink of delivering a massive victory to women’s rights advocates there and across Latin America: New President Alberto Fernández, who won election last year, announced in early March that he planned to make legal abortion the first major priority of his presidency.
With strong majorities in Congress and increasing public support behind the effort, Argentina seemed primed to become just the fourth nation in Latin America to legalize abortion ― and the largest country in the region to enshrine the right into law.
Will Argentina legalize abortion?
EDITOR: Ellen Nemitz, Curitiba
March 17th, 2020
Green and blue: Argentina is divided between the two colors representing “in favor” and “against" abortion, respectively. Alberto Fernandez, president of Argentina, can now be the support the “green scarf” movement needs. On March 1st, during the oficial opening of legislative activities for 2020, Fernandez affirmed he would write and send himself, within 10 days, a bill to Congress to legalize — and not just decriminalize — the pregnancy interruption in first steps.
Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, though, the legislative agenda is being rescheduled and the submission of the project was postponed, so details are still not known. Nonetheless, this will certainly not be the end of the new attempt to legalize abortion in Argentina — the last one was in 2018, but, although the Congress passed the bill, the Senate disapproved it under Mauricio Macri’s administration, who declared himself “in favor of life".
Argentina set to become first major Latin American country to legalise abortion
President Alberto Fernández says he intends to put a bill before congress in next 10 days
Uki Goñi in Buenos Aires
Sun 1 Mar 2020
Argentina is on track to become the first major Latin American country to legalise abortion. Its president, Alberto Fernández, said on Sunday that he intends to send a legal abortion bill to congress in the next 10 days.
“The state must protect its citizens in general and women in particular,” he said in his first annual address to congress. “Society in the 21st century needs to respect the individual choice of its members to freely decide about their bodies.”
New Bid to Legalize Abortion in Argentina, With President’s Backing
Activists came close in 2018. This year, President Alberto Fernández is on their side and is expected to present a legalization bill to Congress.
By Daniel Politi
Feb. 22, 2020
BUENOS AIRES — Abortion rights activists in Argentina have formally started the second round in their effort to advance reproductive rights in the land of Pope Francis, buoyed by the hope that the country’s transformed political landscape will put their goal within reach.
Two years ago, activists organized a powerful grass-roots movement that helped persuade the lower house of Congress to vote in favor of legalizing abortion, but the Senate narrowly voted down the bill.
Activists: Macri’s revoking of abortion protocol is ‘arbitrary and shameful’
Frustration boils over on both sides of the aisle after president revokes health secretary’s new protocol for non-punishable abortions.
Nov 23, 2019
Activists in favour of abortion reform slammed the Mauricio Macri administration on Friday, describing a move to revoke a new protocol offering guidelines for non-punishable procedures as “arbitrary, illegitimate and shameful.”
Another explosive development in the debate over the legality of abortion kicked off Wednesday, when Health Secretary Adolfo Rubinstein updated the protocol for non-punishable abortions, only to have the changes revoked and anulled by President Mauricio Macri just hours later.
Health secretary resigns after abortion protocol controversy
President Macri slams Adolfo Rubinstein for ‘unilateral decision’ and immediately revokes update of guidelines for non-punishable abortions.
Nov 23, 2019
Health Secretary Adolfo Rubinstein presented his “indeclinable” resignation from the government yesterday, ending a week in which the debate over abortion in Argentina again seized national headlines.
Rubinstein’s position had looked untenable ever since it emerged Thursday that he had not sought permission from his superiors before issuing, a day earlier, a new protocol that updated the guidelines for non-punishable abortions in Argentina, a hot-topic issue that fiercely divdes the majority Catholic nation.
Argentine health chief quits in abortion fight with conservative president
Marina Lammertyn, Reuters
November 22, 2019
BUENOS AIRES — Argentina’s health secretary resigned on Friday after a protocol he signed the day before, aimed at making abortion more available, was revoked by conservative President Mauricio Macri, less than a month before he is to leave office.
“Unfortunately, the repeal of the protocol forces me to resign my position as the nation’s secretary of health,” Adolfo Rubinstein said in his resignation letter, a copy of which was seen by Reuters
Argentina's new president vows to legalise abortion
Campaigners hail Alberto Fernández’s pledge to oversee U-turn in official policy
Uki Goñi in Buenos Aires
Sun 17 Nov 2019
Argentina’s president-elect, Alberto Fernández, has promised he will move to legalise abortion after taking office on 10 December.
He will send a bill to congress which, if approved, would make Argentina the first major Latin American nation with legalised abortion. The ruling in the 45 million-strong country would follow decisions by its much smaller neighbour Uruguay, which legalised the practice in 2012, and Cuba, in 1965.
Activists call for Fernández to keep campaign promise on abortion
Pressure mounts on president-elect to make legalisation a priority upon taking office.
Nov 9, 2019
When Alberto Fernández takes office on December 10, a bill to decriminalise abortion, later followed by its legalisation, could top his legislative agenda – at least if activists get their way.
The controversial subject returned to the public agenda this week after Argentina’s president-elect gave a lecture at the National University of Mexico this week, as part of his first foreign diplomatic trip as president-elect.
ARGENTINA – Newly elected president calls for legalisation of abortion before he is elected
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Nov 1, 2019
“Two weeks before Argentina’s elections, a group of female congressional candidates addressed a euphoric crowd that had travelled from across the country to the town of La Plata for a 200,000-woman weekend of feminist strategy workshops and marches,” writes Foreign Policy. The elections this month included several “outspoken feminist candidates”, while protests against gender-based killing of women, national women’s strikes, and a “campaign that saw abortion nearly legalised in the National Congress last year” amount to what is being called “the revolution of the daughters”.
The administration of former president Macri expanded telephone hotline assistance for gender-based violence and free access to long-lasting birth control methods, built more than 240 new daycares, and established Argentina’s first daily television programme devoted to gender equality. After the Macri administration introduced a campaign to reduce unwanted teenage pregnancy, teen births in Argentina dropped 12% in two years.