Does Argentina Have Hope For Legalised Abortion?


Argentina’s youthful activists including media are all in for legalized abortion. More than 1000 public figures, writers, journalists and artists have added their names to an advert published in three Argentinean newspapers over the weekend calling for the government to keep its commitment.

The government somewhere down the line was talking on the lines of legalizing abortion and now, pro-choice campaigners have all the reasons to renew pressure on president Alberto Fernández to make good on his electoral pledge. The advertorial had a banner saying, “Legal abortion 2020”, and the advert went, “The government assumed a public commitment to send a bill to congress. We need legislators to agree on a law to stop more women from dying.”

Argentina is a staunchly Catholic country that has never wished to legalize abortion. But the previous assertion by Fernández in March all for legalized abortion seems to have died out.  One could blame it on the ongoing battle against the pandemic economy slowdown. But political analysts think it otherwise.

According to many, the issue has been sidelined and other ‘thorny bills’ have taken on precedence. Strangely, a highly controversial judicial reform bill, is being pushed through congress by the president, despite widespread opposition and street protests. A previous bill for legalized abortion was rubbished in 2018.

While abortion is legalized in case of rape or where there is evident danger to the woman’s life, in many cases, doctors refuse to operate on women, forcing them to go through full term pregnancy, leaving them in mental and physical discomfort. Almost seven out of 10 pregnancies among under 19-year-olds in Argentina are unintended. The majority of these girls and women live in low-income households and the pregnancy is often the result of rape, according to a report published by Human Rights Watch in August.



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