Postcard from Buenos Aires: Green scarves triumph

Protesters persuade president to legalize abortion, writes Mahi Shah

The World Today The World Today Published 5 February 2021 Updated 4 February 2021 2 minute READ

Mahi Shah

Intern, United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean

On December 30, 2020, Argentina’s National Congress legalized abortion, with 38 Senators in favour, 29 against and one abstention. In a country heavily influenced by Catholicism, women are now legally allowed to terminate pregnancies of up to 14 weeks. Almost a century after the enactment of its 1921 law criminalizing abortion, the move marks an impressive achievement for Argentina in the spheres of women’s rights and public health. 

Before his inauguration, President Alberto Fernández aligned himself with the pro-choice lobby after pledging to ‘end the criminalization of abortion’. His conservative predecessor President Mauricio Macri had come very close to pre-empting him with a bill proposed in 2018 but that was narrowly rejected by the Senate.

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