Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir (CDD-Argentina, or “Catholics for the Right to Decide”) is an independent movement of Catholic people committed to social justice and women's rights, including sexual and reproductive rights, and the right to live free from violence and discrimination. CDD-Argentina works towards achieving gender equality, and challenges religious fundamentalism from a theological and feminist perspective.
CDD-Argentina has played a leading role in mobilizing communities to demand access to safe and legal abortion in the country. As part of these efforts, the group helped launch La Campaña Nacional por el Derecho al Aborto Legal, Seguro y Gratuito (the National Campaign for the Right to Legal, Safe and Free Abortion), and works with other organizations to monitor abortion services. CDD-Argentina has also helped train more than 550 health professionals on sexual and reproductive health and rights issues through its partnerships with universities.
With the leadership of CDD-Argentina and other organizations, the National Campaign for the Right to Legal, Safe and Free Abortion has expanded its membership to 300 organizations and more than 500 individuals nationwide. The campaign is gaining momentum, helping to ensure visibility in the mainstream media and increasingly backed by new voices from various social movements. A 2012 survey found that 58 percent of Argentineans favor the decriminalization of abortion up to the 12th week of pregnancy — a significant increase from 37 percent in 2006 and 28 percent of interviewees who supported decriminalization in 2003.
In 2012, more than 60 members of Congress endorsed a bill decriminalizing abortion up to the 12th week of pregnancy, which was originally proposed by the campaign. Also in 2012, Argentina's Supreme Court ruled that abortion shall not be punished in any case of rape, not only in those perpetrated against mentally disabled women, which was the language of the country's outdated Penal Code. In the same ruling, the Court made it clear that judicial authorizations should not be required to perform abortions and urged for the implementation of hospital medical protocols.
CDD-Argentina also played a major role in establishing and expanding the National Alliance of Lawyers, which has grown from 62 members in 2011 to 160 in 2013. Members of the Alliance have been active in defending access to safe abortion services as allowed by the law. CDD-Argentina also works with universities to implement graduate courses on sexual and reproductive rights, and has trained over 550 health professionals and helped improve the quality of services in three regions of the country.
The organization also advises the Ministry of Health on how to implement the Programa Nacional de Salud Sexual y Procreacion Reponsible (National Program of Sexual Health and Responsible Procreation), which expands access to contraceptives, including access for youth under the age of 18.