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  • Argentines demonstrate for and against the legalization of abortion ahead of senate vote.

    Argentines demonstrate for and against the legalization of abortion ahead of senate vote. | Photo: Reuters

Published 7 August 2018
Opinion

The Argentine Senate will vote on the bill to legalize abortions on Aug. 8.

As Argentina’s Episcopal Conference has been urging the country’s Catholics and Christians to demonstrate against abortion, representatives of the National Campaign for the Right to Legal, Safe and Free Abortion are denouncing stalling tactics by the country's Senate and attempts by the city to limit their vigil.

ANALYSIS: 
Argentina’s Fight for Abortion: Latin American Feminism Has Won

Two days before the Argentine Senate vote on the bill to legalize the voluntary interruption of pregnancies within the first 14 weeks, which seeks to protect the lives of hundreds of thousands of women, Christians of different denominations marched in Buenos Aires to reject the bill.

“Don’t be afraid, brothers and sisters, of speaking out and demonstrating publicly, united to other Christians and men and women of good will, with humbleness of truth, in defense of the to-be-born after being conceived. The believers are also citizens and we have the right and great responsibility to express ourselves to defend life,” the letter published via Twitter reads.

That same day, in a press conference in the Senate, representatives of the national campaign to legalize abortion complained that they “weren’t allowed to participate in the debate,” and warned legislators they are “underestimating popular mobilization.”

Activists promoting the legalization of abortion have also criticized the role Christians seek to have in the political matters of a secular country and the hypocrisy of the Catholic church highlighting their complicity with the last military dictatorship.   

International human rights group Amnesty International ran an ad in the New York Times reminding Argentine senators that complications due to unsafe abortions are the leading cause of maternal mortality in Argentina and that they have the power to change that. “The world is watching,” the ad concludes.

The national campaign, supported by musicians and actors, has issued a nationwide call for a massive mobilization to demand the approval of the law.

Feminist groups around the world, especially in Latin America, have organized protests outside Argentine embassies in solidarity and to publicly support the struggle for free, safe and legal abortions. 

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