December 30, 2020

In a watershed moment for reproductive rights, today the Argentinean Senate approved a bill to legalize abortion. The International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC) celebrates the decisive vote as a monumental victory for human rights and the people of Argentina.

“Today’s vote is a victory for human rights and the culmination of decades of feminist advocacy,” said IWHC Senior Program Officer Shena Cavallo. “Everybody has the right to safe and legal abortion, and the Senate’s decision means that Argentineans can finally exercise their bodily autonomy and make decisions about their own health and lives. We celebrate, today, with our partners and the people of Argentina.”

Current Argentinean law states that abortion is only permitted when the pregnant person’s life or health is in danger, or in cases of rape. Yet, even when legal, abortion is difficult to access and unsafe abortion remains a leading cause of maternal mortality. The Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy Bill, passed by Congress, will now go to President Alberto Fernandez for signature. Legalizing abortion was a priority for President Fernandez upon entering office, though efforts were initially delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. President Fernandez introduced the Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy Bill in November and it passed the Chamber of Deputies in early December.

The victory was possible due to the relentless advocacy and feminist organizing of the National Campaign for Legal, Safe, and Free Abortion—which includes IWHC grantee partner Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir Argentina (CDD Argentina) and members from Centro de Estudios de Estado y Sociedad (CEDES) and Red de Acceso al Aborto Seguro (REDAAS). Their sustained advocacy has shifted public opinion and created a Green Wave that captured the world’s attention and inspired feminist activists throughout the region.

IWHC has supported the feminist movement’s efforts to decriminalize abortion in Argentina for nearly 20 years. We will continue to support our longtime partners and the countless fearless activists as they continue to advocate for policies that increase bodily autonomy and hold the government accountable to securing abortion access for all.

Agustina Ramon Michel, CEDES: “Insistencia, trabajo arduo y colectivo, paso a paso, logramos tener una mejor ley sobre aborto. Fueron muchísimos años, hoy es una fiesta. Hicimos historia. Seguiremos!”

“Insistence, and hard and collective work, step by step, we managed to have a better law on abortion. It was many years in the making—today is a celebration. We made history.”

Contact: Liza Kane-Hartnett; (+1) 917.498.3346

Photo: Sarah Pabst for IWHC