Argentina: Amnesty International welcomes historic vote in favor of legal abortion and urges its full approval

Amnesty International welcomes the preliminary approval of the bill on the voluntary termination of pregnancy passed today by Argentina’s Chamber of Deputies, stressing that it is a landmark achievement for the recognition of the human rights of women, girls and others who can become pregnant. The bill will now pass to the Senate, which has an opportunity to make history by passing the law and bringing an end to clandestine abortions in the country.

“This is an achievement of the women’s movement and a demand from different social groups who have never given up on the cause. The Senate cannot afford to turn its back on women once again and must press forward to pass the law, without further delay. Legal abortion is an imperative for social justice, for reproductive justice and for human rights,” said Mariela Belski, executive director of Amnesty International Argentina.

“The debate of the past few years has been very positive and has succeeded in making visible the failure of the criminalization of women as a state policy. The Senate must now put an end to clandestine abortions. The legalization of abortion saves lives and addresses a key public health issue”.

The bill, which received 131 votes in favour, 117 against and 6 abstentions, decriminalizes and legalizes abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. Once this period has passed, abortion would continue to be legal in cases of risk to the life or health of the pregnant woman or in cases of rape. The bill is in keeping with the fulfillment of the commitments that the Argentine state has undertaken with respect to public health and human rights.

This is an achievement of the women’s movement and a demand from different social groups who have never given up on the cause
Mariela Belski, executive director of Amnesty International Argentina

As the bill now passes to the Senate, Amnesty International reiterates the obligation of both Chambers of Congress to honor the international human rights commitments that the country has assumed.

In the last 25 years, more than 50 countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia, China, South Africa and Uruguay have amended their legislation on abortion, recognizing that access to safe abortion is fundamental for the protection of women and girls’ rights, life, health and autonomy.

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact:

Duncan Tucker (Amnesty International Americas): duncan.tucker@amnesty.org

Gustavo Streger (Amnesty International Argentina): gstreger@amnistia.org.ar