Every year, September 28 is observed as a day for activists to take public action in their countries to advocate for access for safe and legal abortion. On Monday in Buenos Aires, Argentina, approximately 3,000 women, men, and children marched in front of the Argentine Congress to urge lawmakers to pass a bill that would give women the right to an abortion, without exception, in the first trimester.
Currently, abortion is permitted in Argentina only when the life or the health of the woman is in danger, and in the case of rape. Because of these restrictions, an estimated 500,000 clandestine abortions take place every year, many unsafe, landing thousands of women in the hospital suffering from complications.
We’re in Argentina now visiting our partners Católicas Por El Derecho A Decidir-Argentina (Catholics for the Right to Decide – Argentina), Centro de Estudios del Estado y Sociedad (Center for Government and Social Studies), and Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales (Center for Legal and Social Studies) all of which are part of Argentina’s National Campaign for Abortion Rights, a network of organizations that support the right to safe, legal, and free abortion services.
The march in front of Congress was the culmination of a series of events organized by the Campaign that took place Monday. (The Campaign chose September 29 as their day of action since Congress wasn’t in session on September 28, a Sunday.) The day started with expert panels that discussed sexuality education, access to sexual and reproductive health services, and the need for safe, legal, and free abortion services in Argentina. At midday, a dynamic press conference with legislators who support legal abortion animated the crowds and challenged their fellow legislators to support the bill. In the afternoon, there were open forums on the urgency to pass legislation in Argentina to prevent unsafe abortion.
Following the full day of activism Monday, we got great news: Under pressure from activists, the Congressional Criminal Justice Commission announced Tuesday that it will debate the abortion bill the first week of November, the first step to getting the bill introduced to the floor.
We’ll keep you updated as the bill proceeds through Congress