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  • President Alberto Fernandez takes a selfie with women fighting for gender rights in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2019.

    President Alberto Fernandez takes a selfie with women fighting for gender rights in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2019. | Photo: Twitter / @SergioSantosLor

Published 2 January 2020

The bill will guarantee the rights of women who wish to abort as well as the rights of women who do not wish to do so.

On the last day of 2019, Argentina's President Alberto Fernandez confirmed that he will send to Congress a new bill to legalize abortion in his country.

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"It's a public health problem that needs to be resolved," Fernandez said and added that he doesn't want "more people to die" because of clandestine abortions.

Martha Rosenberg, a historical leader of the National Campaign for the Right to Legal Abortion, said the President’s statements generate “a huge expectation,” although she also mentioned that the concrete contents of his bill are not known yet.

“We don't know what the bill is about. The president did not mention the existence of our Voluntary Termination of Pregnancy Bill, which was already presented and reformulated taking into account all the debate that took place in 2018 when the Senate rejected it by few votes," Rosenberg said.

According to what Fernandez said in a radio program, however, his bill will seek in principle "to guarantee everything to everyone."

Martha Rosenberg of the Women's Network for the Decriminalization of Abortion in Argentina: “A pregnancy, a maternity project, or the existence of a human being, begins when the woman who is pregnant says' this pregnancy is going to be a child for me'." The meme reads, "The restriction of the women's right to do what each one decides when she is pregnant is a totally authoritarian trait, which limits women's freedom, autonomy, and exercise of citizenship."

"We have to guarantee the possibility of abortion to the woman who wishes to abort and we have to guarantee the possibility of having [a child] to the woman who can," Fernandez said.

This new policy requires “generating a debate about transit families, defining rapid adoption mechanisms, and also improving contraceptive education. This is something that is not treated and should be treated,” he explained.

Fernandez recalled that previous public policy discussions about divorce or equal marriage were also carried out passionately but ultimately resolved. The same happens today with the abortion issue.​​​​​

“These discussions derive from the Argentine hypocrisy, that's why I'm so exasperated with the subject. Many times, women who abort come from wealthy families, which go to church but cannot bear the reproach of having a single mother. Let's solve all this and end with hypocrisy."

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