Argentina abortion bill postponed until 2021

The Argentine Government has put plans to introduce abortion legislation on hold until 2021.  

President Alberto Fernández vowed he would introduce abortion in his state-of-the-nation speech on 1 March 2020 and that a bill would enter Congress within the following 10 days.

In the ensuing months, amid the coronavirus pandemic, the government announced on multiple occasions that the bill was ready for presentation.

However, according to reports there was no consensus within the Cabinet and now the Bill has been delayed until 2021.

Chief of the Cabinet of Ministers Santiago Cafiero told the Buenos Aires Times that “although the government’s intention was always clear with respect to abortion,” until the pandemic can be brought under control, abortion legislation is not a priority for the Government.

He added that the idea was to debate the bill without restrictions in either Congress or the public arena, with full social participation.

Vice-President Cristina Fernández Kirchner, as well as the Cabinet, reportedly all support the bill’s postponement.

Currently abortion is allowed in Argentina in cases of rape or if the mother’s health is in danger.

Two years ago, Argentina’s Senate rejected a Bill that would have introduced abortion up to 14 weeks in the country.

Last year, almost two million people joined pro-life demonstrations across Argentina under the theme “In Defense of the Two Lives.”

There was a “palpable spirit of celebration, of joy, with families rallying together, as well as an overwhelming presence of young people,” Carolina Brown, one of the march organizers, told Crux: “Seeing that young people are the ones who will have to continue fighting, seeing them come out in numbers, joining friends, is a reason for hope.”This year, Argentina’s digital March for Life drew 390,000 participants on Facebook alone, according to preliminary numbers from march organizers.

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