Argentina's President-elect said the state must guarantee the right to voluntary and safe interruption of pregnancy.
During a keynote conference at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Argentina's President-elect Alberto Fernandez on Tuesday said that abortion should not be a crime, for the State should guarantee the right to voluntary and safe interruption of pregnancy.
"All my life I have taught that abortion should not be a crime and I think it should not be a crime. The state should guarantee women access to abortion under aseptic conditions," Fernandez, who is a criminal law professor at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA), said.
He explained that abortion must be understood as "a public health issue" because women living in poverty "resort to having an abortion in very bad conditions," which puts their lives at risk.
He also mentioned that the legalization of abortion does not mean that women will be forced to abort.
"If someone thinks that abortion is not a good option, then she simply should not abort," the Argentinian President-elect said as attendees applauded.
Fernandez recalled that his political opponents accused him of "being a friend of Satan" due to his positions on abortion. During the last elections, however, he replied that what he tries is "not to be hypocritical and guarantee women's rights."
En una sociedad que nos educó para la vergüenza, ser libres es la mejor respuesta.— Alberto Fernández (@alferdez) November 2, 2019
Vamos a construir una Argentina con más derechos, en la que reinen el amor y la igualdad. Vamos a construir una Argentina para todos, todas y todes.#Orgullo pic.twitter.com/ocibpdPBhj
"In a society that educated us for shame, being free is the best answer. We are going to build an Argentina with more rights, in which love and equality reign. We are going to build an Argentina for everyone."
The "Front of All" leader admitted that feminist struggles have allowed him to realize many inequalities that often go unnoticed, one of which is the wage gap between men and women.
"In Argentina, there have been many social demands in recent years; however, the struggle of women touched us the most," Fernandez said and stressed that "women's rights go well beyond abortion."
On August 9, 2018, the Argentine Senate knocked down a bill previously approved by the Lower Chamber that proposed the decriminalization of abortion until the 14th week of gestation.
In response to this, thousands of people have been performing demonstrations across the country to claim the right to decide.
"Gender violence is unbearable in the 21st century," Fernandez, who will take over the presidency in December, said bluntly.