"Sex education to decide, contraceptives not to abort, legal abortion to not die". The slogan printed on Argentina's green handkerchiefs could not be clearer. Adorna collars, dolls, backpacks and bags of thousands of people who are in favor of a law that legalizes the voluntary interruption of pregnancy, rejected by the Senate last August. This Tuesday, in commemoration of the anniversary of the first handkerchief the federal government that gave rise to an unprecedented mobilization, thousands of Argentines returned to demonstrate in more than a hundred cities. The participants demanded that no woman be reprimanded for aborting or risking her life for doing so in hiding.
"That abortion is legal, in my body I decide, to prison no more," shouted Tuesday afternoon in front of the Argentine Congress a green tide formed mostly by women. "Motherhood will be desired or it will not be", "Illegal abortion = state femicide", "We all abort, the rich are silent, the poor die," could be read on the placards of the people who participated in the handkerchief from the capital, Buenos Aires.
At the request of the president, Mauricio Macri, the House discussed last year, for the first time, a law proposing to legalize free abortion until the 14thª week. The initiative was approved in the Chamber of Deputies, but it was later rejected in the Senate. And Argentina remained the same as it was: with a law of 1921 that provides prison sentences for the woman who interrupts her pregnancy and for medical personnel who intervene except in the case of rape and risk to the life of the mother.
"Today we announce that we are still in the campaign and we demand that the project be treated [en el Congreso]. We believe that this election year can not go by without the forces that are going to be running for public office do not pronounce on this issue, "says psychoanalyst Martha Rosenberg, a member of the Campaign for legal abortion, safe and free, which brings together more than 700 organizations. "We believe that sexual, reproductive and non-reproductive rights are basic human rights of all people, so it is necessary to guarantee access in a universal way," the call underscored.
For the historical feminist militant Nina Brugo, the defeat in the Senate can not overshadow "the great leap in the fight for the right to decide" that has occurred in Argentina in the last year. "It's a struggle for the autonomy and freedom that the youngest have taken on and that has transcended the borders," adds Brugo minutes before taking the stage to applause.
"I do not know if this year we are going to get it approved, because the anti-rights are very strong in Congress, but what is that they will not be able to continue ignoring us," he says. The names of the 38 senators who voted against were present today on banners next to the drawing of a hanger, one of the most insecure methods women use to abort. The requirement of a law of legal interruption of pregnancy will once again be one of the central slogans of the mobilization next March 8.
The Campaign is preparing a new draft law to be presented to Congress in the next legislative year. It will include modifications to the project presented a year ago, which contemplated free abortion until week 14 and prohibited the objection of institutional conscience. "There was a group of very committed deputies and deputies who see it as an important component of their political management, they do not marginalize it or hide it under the carpet as has been the tradition of previous governments," says this psychoanalyst, convinced that legislators will once again put the debate on the table.
The legislative treatment of abortion diverted media attention from the economic crisis, but it also provoked important internal divisions in the governing alliance Change. Eight months before the presidential elections, to be held on October 27, it is not clear if the ruling party will once again promote a debate that divided the country and provoked mass demonstrations in favor and against the bill.
With current legislation, the majority of abortions performed in Argentina are illegal. According to unofficial estimates, every minute and a half a woman interrupts her pregnancy in the southern country. Every year, Argentine hospitals treat around 50,000 pregnant people due to complications derived from clandestine abortions and almost 50 die.