A victory for women’s rights

Photo: Amnesty International

The Good News of the Week: Argentina has legalized abortion and becomes the third country in South America to put an end to unsafe abortions.

PublishedJan 8, 2021
AuthorIngvill Bryn Rambøl

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The year 2020 ended with a big victory for women’s rights as Argentina’s Congress passed a new law on 30 December, legalizing abortions up the 14th week of pregnancy. On 30 December, senators voted in favor of the bill with 38 votes in favor and 29 against. Until now, abortions were only permitted in cases of rape or when the mother’s health was at risk.

"Safe, legal and free abortion is now law … Today we are a better society,"
President Alberto Fernández on Twitter

According to Argentina’s President Alberto Fernández, more than 3,000 women have died as a result of unsafe, illegal abortions in Argentina since 1983. With the new law, Argentina become the third South American country to permit elective abortions, together with Uruguay and Guyana. In countries such as the Dominican Republic and El Salvador, abortions are strictly banned, and prosecuted as murder.

The abortion law in Argentina passed after five years of mass protest marches organized by grass women’s movements, following the killing of a 14-year-old, pregnant girl in 2015. Wearing green headscarves, the protesters marched under the slogan #NiUnaMenos (Not one less), symbolizing that no more lives must be lost due to illegal abortions.

Amnesty International, awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize in 1977, has been a strong supporter of the protesters, and celebrates the new law as a victory for women’s rights across the continent:

"Argentina has made an emblematic step forward in defending the rights of women, girls, and people with reproductive capacity. It has also sent a strong message of hope to our entire continent: that we can change course against the criminalization of abortion and against clandestine abortions, which pose serious risks to the health and lives of millions of people "
Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International

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