How a Network of Activists Are Helping Women Get Abortions in Argentina During Coronavirus Lockdown
By Ciara Nugent
May 1, 2020
These days, Ruth Zurbriggen finds herself having meetings at midnight. A university lecturer in the Argentine province of Neuquén, Zurbriggen spends her spare time helping other women get abortions in a country where the procedure is only legal in a few circumstances. Stuck at home because of a nationwide quarantine order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, women often need to speak at night, when their families or partners are asleep and can’t hear them talking about their decision.
Zurbriggen, 54, is a founding member of the Socorristas en Red (literally, Network of Lifeguards), a group of 504 activists spread across Argentina’s territory. The socorristas help women navigate the country’s health system, which, by law is meant to provide abortion in cases of rape or where the pregnancy is a risk to the health of the mother.