Abortion Project in Argentina

Since 1921, abortion is considered as an offense under the Argentine Penal Code. A woman who aborts risks between one to four years in prison, and all those who have helped her incur up to six years in prison. Article 86 allows abortion in two situations: (1) when the health or life of the pregnant woman is in danger; (2) in case of rape. However, the law is hardly enforced and most abortions – between 370,000 and 522,000 a year, according to a 2005 Ministry of Health study – are done illegally. 
             In Central and South America, 97% of women of reproductive age live in countries with restrictive IVG laws, according to the American Guttmacher Institute. Abortion is only possible in three countries: Cuba (since 1965), Guyana (since 2006) and Uruguay (since 2012), and in Mexico City (since 2007). Six countries totally forbid it, even if the pregnancy poses a fatal risk to the woman. Five are located in Central America and the Caribbean: Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Dominican Republic and Haiti. And one, Suriname, in South America. Everywhere else, abortion is penalized or only allowed under certain conditions. But, again, most of the time, these conditions are not respected and the practice of abortion, yet massive, remains clandestine and extremely dangerous.
            Today, August 8, the Argentinean Senate is expected to take a second reading decision on a project to legalize abortion, already adopted by the deputies on June 14. The balance leans towards a rejection of the bill, under the pressure of the churches. Indeed, the outcome of the vote, which promises to be tight, is very uncertain. The original text allows the use of abortion during the 14 first weeks of pregnancy. Let’s hope that women will be able to decide for themselves and their bodies. It will be a big win for the country, the continent, the world, all of us.

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