Legal abortion has won in House of Deputies and in streets of Buenos Aires. In a heated and hotly contested vote, which lasted for more than 20 hours, legislators approved on Thursday bill for voluntary termination of pregnancy by 129 votes in favour and 125 against. Outside, on one side of square, thousands of teenage girls burst into applause, cries of emotion and tears. In or, Cabizbajos withdrew. Few imagined three months ago, when President Mauricio MACRI enabled debate, that legalization of abortion would be approved in at least one of two chambers. Now bill will pass to Senate, more conservative. Everything points to law will crash re, but nothing is safe in this Argentina dragged by a feminist wave that has made legal abortion one of its flags. It's a historic day.
It was a heart attack session. The numbers danced throughout day and in end balance was bowed by change of position of a few legislators. The fracture of Argentinean society on abortion was repeated inside hemicycle and political parties. All blocks voted divided, with exception of left, with a unanimous stance in favor of voluntary interruption of pregnancy. Abortion is currently illegal, except in cases of rape and risk to mor's health. Women who interrupt ir pregnancy face prison sentences of between one and four years.
In an unprecedented gesture, Fernando Iglesias, a member of change known for his defense of ultraliberal economic policies, was applauded by much of Kirchnerism. "We are changed," said Iglesias, "We came to change, not to consecrate status quo." With a world map in hand, legislator invited his colleagues to think of country y would like to see as Argentina: "In North America, Asia, Europe, Australia, abortion is legal or if we want it to look like red parts of Planisphere , Latin America and Africa. They are only continents that prohibit abortion, where inequality and violence are greater, "he said.
In Argentina almost 50,000 women are involved every year by abortion complications and half a hundred die.
One of most controversial speeches was that of deputy radical Estela alderman. After being presented as "animal protector" he launched a question to air: "What happens when our dog gets pregnant? We're not taking vet to abort. We went out to see who we gave puppies to. The worst beasts want ir offspring. What happens to human beings that we have that damned reason that covers our hearts?
At six o'clock in morning, with matched scoreboard, Kirchnerist Axel Kicillof recalled that previous presidents who opened transcendental debates, such as legalization of divorce and homosexual marriage, became involved in m. Mauricio Macri opposes decriminalization but in February he decided to enable debate in midst of a great social pressure. Since n it has been sidelined and limited to ensuring that it will respect outcome and re will be no presidential veto.
Outside Congress, mobilization for legal abortion won street, although enormous polarization was made visible. "Take rosaries out of our ovaries," "It's my body, I decide," said banners of many young girls angry with pressure of Catholic Church to avoid decriminalization. From or side of square, in a very inferior number, anti-abortionists shouted: "Yes to life, not to abortion". They awaited outcome of vote with collective sentences.
The vote blew through air all excitement lived for 20 hours. "Legal abortion in hospital", shouted in unison green tide, formed by thousands of women. "Down with patriarchy, he will fall, he will fall, up patriarchy, he will overcome, he will beat," sang young women who did not cry.
Approval in House of Deputies is historic, but getting it to become a law in Senate will be much more difficult. Many legislators in norrn provinces, more conservative and with social majorities against abortion, have already anticipated that y will vote against it. There is a huge expectation to know what former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner will vote. During his eight years of presidency he was opposed to enabling debate to be against, but it is not known if influenced by his daughter and by voice of thousands of young people will now change his mind. "It will be law, it will be law", y shout a roll of girls with look already placed in lower chamber.