Argentina Legalises Abortion

Argentina.jpg

Women in Argentina will now have the right to terminate pregnancy at up to 14 weeks. The Senate vote is an important development for abortion rights in Latin America.

Level: Beginner

Originally published on 30 December 2020

On Wednesday, Argentina legalised abortion up to the 14th week of pregnancy.

It is the first major country in Latin America to make abortion legal. Lots of people in other Latin American countries want the same law in their countries.

The senators debated the topic for more than 12 hours.

There was a huge crowd outside the Senate building in Buenos Aires and lots of people cheered and shouted. They also waved their green flags.

“We did it, sisters. We made history. We did it together. There are no words for this moment”, tweeted Monica Macha, a lawmaker from the centre-left party “Everybody’s Front”.

Under the old law, women could only get an abortion if they had been raped or if there were a chance the mother would die. Across Latin America, abortions are only available in Cuba, Uruguay and in some parts of Mexico.

Not everyone was happy about the legal changes.

The country’s Catholic church formed an alliance with evangelical groups and tried to stop the bill from going through. Around 62% of Argentinians are Catholic, and over 15% say they are evangelicals.

Pope Francis, who is Argentinian, was mostly silent on the debate until Tuesday evening. Hours before the Senate discussion started, however, Francis tweeted what seems like support to the anti-abortion side.

Adapted from Deutsche Welle

New vocabulary:

  • terminate pregnancy – have an abortion

  • cheered – shouted and clapped in excitement

  • waved – moved back and forth

  • we made history – we did something that will be remembered in the future

  • there are no words - I am shocked (in this case, in a good way)
  • alliance – coming together

  • evangelical – in keeping with the gospel and its teachings.

  • what seems like – what was probably/likely

 

Questions:

What do you think about this new law?

Do you think it will have an affect on other Latin American countries?

What do you think about the pope tweeting his support for the anti-abortion side?