Argentina abortion rights activists renew push for legalisation
Maite Linares and her daughter Juana rally to legalize abortion in Argentina outside the Argentine Congress in Buenos Aires [Natalie Alcoba/Al Jazeera]
Buenos Aires, Argentina – Women across several generations rallied at the foot of political power in Argentina on Wednesday to repeat their demand for the government to legalise abortion.
The political ground has shifted significantly since 2018, when legalisation advocates narrowly lost a vote in the Senate that would have turned Argentina into the largest jurisdiction in South America region to legalise abortion in the first 14 weeks.
“It feels different than in 2018,” said Maite Linares, a teacher who brought her five-year-old daughter Juana to a rally on Wednesday hosted by the feminist movement outside the Argentine Congress in Buenos Aires.
“It feels like the possibility exists that this will happen,” she told Al Jazeera. “The movement is bigger, stronger and more voices have joined our cause.”
A crucial voice is that of newly elected President Alberto Fernandez who supports legalisation and is drafting a bill to present to the Argentine Congress.
Abortion is illegal in Argentina, and carries a prison sentence, except in instances of rape, or if a mother’s health is at risk. Even so, access to the legal procedure is limited, especially in more conservative regions where the Catholic Church’s influence is more pronounced and doctors abstain from providing the procedure on moral or religious grounds.
Wednesday marked a return to the streets for those in favour of legalisation.