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Thousands of Argentine Women March for Legal, Safe and Free Abortion

The National Campaign for the Right to Legal, Safe and Free Abortion called for demonstrations across Argentina to demand the government to address the bill for Voluntary Termination of Pregnancy again this year.
Argentine women marching for legal, safe and free abortion gather outside the National Congress of Argentina on February 19.

Another green wave outside the National Congress of Argentina on February 19. Photo Courtesy: Ludmila Díaz/Notas Periodismo Popular

On February 19, thousands of young women and transgenders, once again took over the main districts of Argentina to demand the approval of the Voluntary Termination of Pregnancy Bill (IVE), full implementation of the Law on Comprehensive Sexual Education (ESI), strengthening of the “National Program for Sexual Health and Responsible Procreation” and compliance in all districts of the “protocol for the comprehensive care of people with right to the legal termination of pregnancy (ILE)”.

Pañuelazo or a march with green handkerchief, which represents the feminist struggle for legal abortion, was held in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires, as well as in Jujuy, Neuquén, Salta, Córdoba, Rosario, La Plata, Mar del Plata, Viedma and Mendoza, among other cities. In Buenos Aires, women, feminist as well as social leaders manifested in the vicinity of the National Congress and outside government administrative offices in other cities, to demand that the bill be addressed again this year. The demonstrations were called for by the National Campaign for the Right to Legal, Safe and free abortion.

February 19, called as the Green Action Day for the Right to Abortion, commemorated the first pañuelazo that was held in Argentina in 2018 to demand the access to legal, safe and free abortion. “From the National Campaign for the Right to Legal, Safe and Free Abortion women, lesbians, bisexuals, trans and queers we get together, we organize, we take the networks and fill the streets, accompanied by society, to raise our handkerchiefs as a sign of strength, unity and solidarity with a collective action that began fourteen years ago and today is a symbol of the international feminist movement”, was announced on loudspeaker during the event.

The return of the women on streets demonstrate that the claim for IVE is still valid, that there is no turning back, that the rejection of the bill is history, the claim for IVE has been strengthened and that the women are determined to fight for their right and lives.

The case of a 12-years-old rape victim, who was forced into motherhood, surfaced in the month of January, sparked the debate over Argentina’s legislation on abortion with a renewed push. The National Campaign for the Right to Legal, Safe and Free Abortion, together with Ni Una Menosmovement, plan to present a new Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy bill and carry out a massive rally on March 8, demanding its approval. In August last year, the Senate rejected the Bill of Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy, which was passed in the House of Representatives, denying hundreds of thousands of people the right to legal, safe and free abortion.

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