Argentina’s Abortion Vote Was a Stepping Stone Not a Setback – Amnistía Internacional Argentina | Defendemos los derechos humanos

Argentina’s Abortion Vote Was a Stepping Stone Not a Setback

Por Mariela Belski

Late Wednesday night, Argentina’s Senate voted against legalizing abortion during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. After a marathon 16-hour debate, senators decided to reject a law that would have saved countless lives. For now, people who need to terminate pregnancies in Argentina will have to continue to risk death or incarceration.

But something has irrevocably changed.

That night, hundreds of thousands of people, mostly women, stood together in the streets outside the Senate in Buenos Aires. We stood there for hours in the rain, wearing the emerald green handkerchiefs that have become the symbol of the pro-choice movements that are sweeping Latin America. We knew that the majority of Senators were planning to vote against the law, and that as the night wore on our chances of winning were slim. Still we stood there in the cold, with rain and green paint running down our faces.

That mass gathering was momentous. It showed that the stigma, shame and secrecy that have surrounded abortion for so long are disintegrating.

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