A historic moment: Argentina legalizes abortion

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the green wave activists from Argentina

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) welcomes the news of a historic decision by the Senate of the Republic of Argentina approving a national law on legal, safe and free abortion. The law will allow all women and adolescents access to abortion care for up to 14 weeks of pregnancy.

IPPF celebrates the collective effort of thousands of activists, feminists, and grassroots organizations that continued to fight for access to safe and legal abortion care. 

With the approval of this law, Argentina will become the fourth country in Latin America to legalize abortion care, joining Cuba, Guyana, and Uruguay.

IPPF’s Director General Dr Alvaro Bermejo said:

‘This historic moment cannot be understated; a similar bill was put forth to the Senate in 2018 and was narrowly defeated. But the fire in the hearts and minds of hundreds of thousands of activists from all walks of life, was burning, and they continued to fight. The human right for all women, girls, and gender non-conforming people to have autonomy over their bodies to decide whether to be pregnant or not, is now a reality for millions of Argentinians.

"I hope that the Argentinian Green Wave becomes a spark for the rest of Latin America and the Caribbean and inspires countries to change their abortion laws, as millions of women and girls still lack access to safe and legal abortion in the region and are coerced to risk their lives by turning to unsafe abortions.’

The law includes:

  • Abortion care deadlines: Abortion care is available for up to 14 weeks of gestation. Once an abortion care service is requested, it must be performed within 10 days.
  • Comprehensive and free coverage: Abortion care must be included in the Compulsory Medical Program (PMO) to guarantee integral and free coverage in all Argentinian health sub-systems.
  • Informed consent: Consent in writing must be provided by people seeking an abortion. Anyone at the age of consent (16 years old) does not need to be accompanied by an adult. Anyone under the age of 13 years old, will require the assistance of at least one parent or legal representative.
  • ‘Conscientious objection’ and referral to guarantee abortion: Those who deny abortion care based on ‘conscientious objection’ are required to refer the clients to another facility that will provide the service. The law stipulates that "in all cases, abortion care must be guaranteed" and that "the steps and costs associated with the referral and transfer shall be borne by the service that makes the referral".

Kate Gilmore, chair of IPPF’s Board said:

"Argentinian Green Wave, we thank you. Your persistence, bravery, solidarity, and compassion will continue inspiring us all to realize women’s right to safe and legal abortion care all over the world."

 

Image credit: Gabriela Bacin Gemetro