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  • Activists take part in a rally in favor of legalizing abortion in Buenos Aires, Argentina Sep. 27, 2019.

    Activists take part in a rally in favor of legalizing abortion in Buenos Aires, Argentina Sep. 27, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 28 September 2019

Due to the absence of laws protecting women's rights, it is estimated that there are 1,300 clandestine abortions per day in Argentina.

In front of congress, Argentina’s gender activists on Friday began their “Scream for Legal Abortion”, a massive demonstration that took place in anticipation of the International Safe Abortion Day, which on September 28 brings together millions of people around the world to defend women's rights.

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“The National Campaign for the 'Right to Legal, Safe and Free Abortion', as well as the Green Tide staining all over the world, have provided visibility to the demand for a comprehensive public health policy capable of fostering women's autonomy and freedom”, social organizations indicated.

"Neither dead nor imprisoned" and "We want to be alive and free" were the slogans shouted by thousands in a country where right-wing politicians have managed to maintain unconstitutional barriers to the exercise of the right to legal abortion.

Regarding what seems to be an endless asymmetric struggle, filmmaker Juan Solanas premiered on Thursday "Let it be law", the first Argentine documentary which addresses the consequences of clandestine abortions in the context of mobilizations and protests against a bill rejected by the Senate.

"Of the 320 million women living in Latin America, only 8 percent can freely terminate their pregnancy. Every week a woman dies from a clandestine abortion. With these figures Juan Solanas' documentary Que Ley Ley begins," local media Clarin reported.

"The documentary reflects the claim of women's movements to achieve the legalization of abortion, something which has not yet been achieved in less developed countries, where maternal mortality rates are raised due to complications arising from clandestine abortions."

While the Scream for Legal Abortion protests were held in more than 20 Argentinian cities, yesterday's demonstrations in front of congress had a special symbolic relevance.

Four months ago, Argentinian gender activists presented for the eighth time a bill which would allow the termination of pregnancy during the first fourteen weeks of the gestation process.

This proposal was about to become a law when the Lower House approved it on June 15, 2018. At the Senate, however, the bill received 38 votes against, 31 in favor and two abstentions on Aug. 8, 2018.

Since President Mauricio Macri took office in 2015, a year that marks the beginning of a right-wing administration which has seriously affected economic and social rights, official statistics related to women's reproductive health have not been updated in a timely manner.

According to latest available data (2015), Argentinian public hospitals ​​​​​​​attended 45,968 cases of "abortion complication", a technical term which is often used to cover up clinical interventions related to the consequences of unsafe procedures.

Of those cases, 7,280 were related to women with ages between 15 and 19 years old. On 2015, in addition, there were 108,912 teenagers who became mothers, most probably against their will.

It is currently estimated that there are 1,300 clandestine abortions per day in Argentina, as Todas, a gender-specialized Latin American media, reported.​​​​​​​

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