Law reforms


By Selcan Hacaoglu on November 06, 2012

Four Turkish women went on trial today for staging an unauthorized protest outside the office of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan against government plans to curb abortion, the Halkevleri activist group said.

The protesters face a maximum three years in prison if convicted by the court for the protest in Istanbul, said Sevinc Hocaogullari, an official at the group. More than 80 of its members are on trial for similar protests in the capital Ankara and the western city of Eskisehir, she said.

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in June after Erdogan called abortion “murder.” Abortion is legal in predominantly Muslim Turkey until a maximum 10 weeks from conception, and Erdogan’s government said it was considering a proposal to ban the operation after four weeks except in emergencies. Parliament in July barred Caesarean sections unless women can prove there is a medical condition preventing them from giving birth naturally.

“It is our body, our choice, not the prime minister’s, the family’s or the husband’s,” Hocaogullari said, accusing the ruling Justice and Development Party of attempting to ban abortion.

Health Minister Recep Akdag drew an angry response from women’s groups in June when he said the government could even take care of the babies of rape victims.

‘Cheap Labor’

Erdogan has repeatedly said that Turkish families should have at least three children, and has argued that a large population will enable Turkey to provide a workforce for an ageing Europe if it’s granted European Union membership. Turkey’s current population is about 75 million, and its birth rate fell from 1.5 percent in 2010 to 1.3 percent in 2011, according to the official statistics agency.

“The prime minister wants cheap labor to compete with China,” said Hocaogullari.

Erdogan may also be concerned to balance the country’s ethnic demographics. Mothers in the largely Kurdish southeast of Turkey have an average of 3.4 children, higher than the national average of 2. The government has been fighting autonomy-seeking Kurdish militants for decades in a war that has killed nearly 40,000 people.

To contact the reporter on this story: Selcan Hacaoglu in Ankara at shacaoglu@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net

SOLIDARITY REQUEST: República Dominicana

 

The vote on the new Penal Code is today (Wednesday 24 October)

SEND THIS SOLIDARITY MESSAGE NOW:

 

Dominican Republic: Parliament must decriminalize abortion

 

“The criminalization of abortion in all circumstances, as maintained in the new legislation,violates women’s rights to life, health and not to suffer torture or ill treatment anddiscrimination and it goes against international human rights commitments made by theDominican Republic.” (Amnesty International)

 

INDIGNAD@S: NO A ESE CÓDIGO PENAL

SEND TO:

Abel Martínez Duran, Presidente, Camara Diputados

AA.MARTINEZ@camaradediputados.gob.do

and these members of the Congress:

 

Julio César Valentín (senador Santiago) jcesarvalentin@senado.gov.do

José Rafael Vargas (senador Espaillat)  vargas@joserafaelsenador.org

Víctor Sánchez (diputado Azua) v.sanchez@camaradediputados.gob.do

Víctor Gómez Casanova (diputado DN)  victordiputado2010@gmail.com

Guadalupe Valdez (diputada nacional) guadalupediputadanacional@gmail.com

Mario Hidalgo (diputado La Vega)m.hidalgo@camaradediputados.gob.do o  majohibe@hotmail.com

Magda Rodríguez (diputada Santiago)m.rodriguez@camaradediputados.gov.do omagdalirodriguez@yahoo.com Elpidio Báez (diputado DN)e.baez@camaradediputados.gov.do

Cristian Paredes (diputado Sánchez Ramírez)

Minou Tavarez (diputada Santo Domingo de Guzmán)  minoutavarez@gmail.com

Otros correos importantes:
Other important e-mail addresses:

Pedro Angel Martínez (Encargado de Prensa del Senado)  prensapedroangel@gmail.com

Mayra Ruiz de Astwood (Coordinadora Comisiones Permanentes del Senado) mayraruiz@senado.gov.do o ruizconcepcion1@hotmail.com

Luis Quezada (Asesor de Formulación de Proyectos del Senado)l.quezada@senado.gov.do

Twitter addresses of the members of the Justice Commission:

Los twitter de los diputados de la Comisión de Justicia son los siguientes:

@DipVictorSuarez
@TeodoroUrsino
@demostenesm
@RuddyDiputado
@DiputadosRD
@CDiputadosRD

Otros twitter of members of congress and other important actors

Other twitter (Diputadxs, Senadorxs, otrxs actorxs):

@Diputadodn

@WendyDiputada

@diputadorico
@elpidiobaez

@felixtena
@juliocvalentin
@hidalgoadp
@rogeliogenao
@sanchezggustavo
@KarenRicardoc
@DaniloMedina
@guadalupevaldez
@RParedPerez
@LuisinJimenez
@DavidColladoM
@SenadorSanJuan
@itobisono
@VGomezCasanova
@minoutavarezm
@pelegrinc
@AbelMartinezD
@VoceroPLD (Vocero de los diputadosPLD)
@senadorepdom
@SenatorialStgo
@PresidenciaRD
@ProcuraduriaRD
@DominguezBrito
@senadorepdom
@MMujerRD
@Fiscalia_DN
@YeniBerenice
@OrtizBosch
@margaritacdf
@ViceRDo 

 

Indignad@s: NO a ese código penal!

 

Imminent Penal Code restrictions re abortion and violence against women threatened

 

BE READY TO SEND SOLIDARITY IN NEXT 1-2 DAYS!!

 

Dear Sisters:
I am writing to you from the Dominican Republic. The situation here is really worrying at this point. Last week the Congress gave the first approval to the new Penal Code, that will maintain abortion illegal under all circumstances and even worsening the situation for women compared to the past, among other things violating women’s rights regarding violence against women (VAW), (several improvements  in the Law on VAW in 1997 have been swept away…).

 

Next Wednesday the Congress will read the Penal Code Proposal again, with the risk that it could be finally approved. Locally, we are a big movement protesting, but who knows if it would be enough?!

 

We would really appreciate signs of protest reaching the Dominican Congress from our sisters worldwide. I will send you the e-mail addresses as soon as I obtain them since locally we are not using email this way. Meanwhile please find below the declaration issued by the protest movement to the press this morning, with details about the content of the new Penal Code being discussed in the Congress. I preferred not to wait till the last minute to alert you.All the best, Elga Salvador

______________________________

 

FORO FEMINISTA

RECHAZAMOS  DISPOSICIONES DEL PROYECTO DE CODIGO PENAL  DEMANDAMOS RESPETO A DERECHOS HUMANOS DE LAS MUJERES

 

El Foro Feminista y las organizaciones de mujeres aquí presentes declaramos como inaceptables, por inconstitucionales y desconocedoras de derechos humanos, disposiciones fundamentales contenidas en el Proyecto de Código Penal Dominicano aprobado en primera lectura el martes 16 de octubre por la Cámara de Diputados.

 

El texto aprobado contiene artículos que representan retroceso y negación de derechos fundamentales de las mujeres, derechos que ya forman parte de nuestro ordenamiento jurídico, como los consignados en la Ley 24-97 que introdujo modificaciones al Código Penal vigente. Ningún Estado que se precie de Democrático de Derecho, comprometido con la progresividad de los derechos humanos, puede permitirse echar para atrás en el reconocimiento y protección de esos derechos.

 

Eliminación de la sanción a la violencia de género contra las mujeres

En el texto de Código Penal en discusión se identifican importantes retrocesos respecto a la Ley 24-97 como la eliminación de la sanción a la violencia de género contra las mujeres. El resultado de esa mutilación es la restricción de ese tipo de violencia a la que se produce entre miembros de una familia, concepto que desconoce totalmente la realidad de violencia que enfrentan diariamente las mujeres en este país. Las alarmantes cifras de más de 62,374 denuncias de violencia de género e intrafamiliar reportadas en el año 2011 por la PGR, y las 5,657 denuncias por delitos sexuales contra mujeres, dan cuenta de esta realidad, todavía oculta y sub-registrada.

 

Sólo considera grave la violencia intrafamiliar cuando se cause la muerte de la víctima, una incapacidad permanente o por más de 90 días.  Constituye igualmente retrocesos con relación a la 24-97 la disposición que condiciona a “daños corporales de consideración” lascircunstancias agravantes de la violencia doméstica o intrafamiliar.  Sólo se considera agravante cuando causa la muerte a la víctima, una incapacidad permanente o por más de 90 días.  En contraste, en la 24-97 las agravantes dependen de las circunstancias en que se comete el hecho, es decir, en presencia de niños/as, portando armas, coartando la libertad de la mujer, entre otras condiciones referidas a los hechos cometidos por el agresor y no a los daños ocasionados y verificables sólo en el cuerpo de la víctima.

 

Reduce la pena al incesto

El  incesto en el texto de nuevo Código no establece la máxima pena para esta infracción, desconociendo con ello los graves daños y secuelas que deja en la vida de un niño o niña este tipo de abuso sexual, al tiempo que excluye de la tipificación del incesto la filiación adoptiva como posible vínculo entre la víctima y el autor/a del hecho.

 

Reduce la pena al acoso sexual

El acoso sexual se sanciona en este proyecto de Código Penal con un día a un año de prisión menor, y contrario a lo que sería necesario frente a las características y dimensión del problema en la sociedad dominicana, siguen las limitaciones para las mujeres con relación a la falta de compensación frente a la pérdida de trabajo y otras repercusiones del acoso sexual.

Encubre una violación sexual a una menor de edad

 

Dentro de las infracciones de la sección “puesta en peligro de los menores de edad”, se ubica el atentado sexual contra una persona menor de edad quien ha sido sustraída de la casa parental, castigándose ese hecho con una pena de dos a tres años de prisión menor. Esa sanción es diez veces más baja que la establecida para la violación de un/a menor de edad y la misma que se estipula para quien comete un robo simple.

 

El Femicidio y la penalización de aborto en todas las circunstancias:

Aunque incorpora la figura del femicidio, el nuevo proyecto de Código Penal lo restringe a la relación de pareja, con lo cual excluye  todos los asesinatos de mujeres que se producen por su condición de mujer fuera de ese vínculo. Datos de la PGR informan 1,382 casos de femicidios desde el año 2005 a noviembre del 2011. De este total, 660 fueron asesinatos de mujeres cometidos por hombres con quien la víctima no tuvo o tenía una relación de pareja.

 

Para culminar con el desapego del referido proyecto a las demandas de las organizaciones de mujeres, se mantiene la retrógrada criminalización del aborto, desatendiendo reclamos sostenidos y fundamentados de las mujeres por la eliminación de esas penas, en reconocimiento de una realidad de miles de dominicanas de escasos recursos que cada año arriesgan su salud y sus vidas con abortos clandestinos e inseguros. La penalización del aborto en todas las condiciones y etapas de la gestación constituye una violación a los derechos humanos de las mujeres: su derecho a la vida, a la salud, a la integridad personal, a la dignidad, a la libertad de conciencia y de cultos, derecho al libre desarrollo de la personalidad, entre otros.

 

Todas estas omisiones, vacíos y distorsiones implican una violación a los convenios internacionales sobre derechos humanos de las mujeres ratificados por el Estado dominicano, así como a la misma Constitución de la República que en su Artículo 42 inciso 2) establece lo siguiente: “Se condena la violencia intrafamiliar y de género en cualquiera de sus formas. El Estado garantizará mediante ley la adopción de medidas necesarias para prevenir, sancionar y erradicar la violencia contra la mujer”. Este mandato constitucional está siendo claramente transgredido por el proyecto de Código Penal.

 

Frente a todo lo anterior, demandamos de la Cámara de Diputados la protección de los derechos de las mujeres y de la niñez sancionando su violación en la ley penal, en cumplimiento del deber del Estado de garantizar la protección de los derechos de todas las personas, incluyendo a las mujeres quienes representan la mitad de la población dominicana.

Santo Domingo, 22 de octubre, 2012

 

Colectiva Mujer y Salud

ciudadaniaactivadelasmujeres@gmail.com
www.colectivamujerysalud.org
http://colectivando.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/CiudadaniaActivadelasMujeres
http://twitter.com/#!/CiudadaniaAM

http://www.capitalgazette.com/news/nation_world/uruguay-lawmakers-vote-to-legalize-abortion/article_edfc7b6d-494d-5fcd-8274-d503f074d4f2.html

Posted: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 7:05 am

Associated Press | 0 comments

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay (AP) — Legislators have voted in Uruguay by a razor-thin margin to legalize abortion.

In Latin America, where the majority of people are Catholic, no country except Cuba has made abortions accessible to all women during the first trimester of pregnancy.

The vote in Uruguay’s Chamber of Deputies was 50-49 just before midnight Tuesday after several lawmakers on each side of the debate said they could not in good conscience go along with their parties, and allowed substitutes to vote in their stead.

President Jose Mujica says he will allow it to become law, if the Senate approves the changes. The Senate already has approved an even more liberal version of the abortion measure.

The Chamber of Deputies’ legislation would give women the right to a legal abortion during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, and decriminalize later-term abortions when the mother’s life is at risk or when the fetus is so deformed that it wouldn’t survive after birth. In cases of rape, abortions would be legal during the first 14 weeks.

Deputy Pablo Abdala of the opposition National Party vowed Wednesday to promote a popular referendum to overturn the law, if Mujica doesn’t veto it, calling the measure a violation of human rights.

However, polls suggest many more Uruguayans favor abortion rights than oppose them.

A survey this month showed 52 percent of Uruguayans would vote to legalize abortion if the question were put to the people, while 34 percent would vote against it. The survey of 802 people nationwide by the CIFRA consulting firm had a 3.4 percentage point margin of error.

Abortion rights advocates were disappointed by compromises made to secure the votes, including a requirement that women seeking abortions justify their request before a panel of at least three professionals — a gynecologist, psychologist and social worker — and listen to advice about alternatives including adoption and support services if she should decide to keep the baby. Then she must wait five more days “to reflect” on the consequences before the procedure.

Such bureaucratic barriers will only delay the procedures and force more women to seek illegal and dangerous abortions elsewhere, they said. Abortion rights advocates also were upset by a clause preventing any woman who hasn’t lived in the country for at least a year from obtaining abortions in Uruguay.

“This is not the law for which we fought for more than 25 years,” complained Marta Agunin, who directs Women and Health, a non-governmental organization in Uruguay.

Her group staged a colorful protest outside Congress during the debate and more than a dozen women posed in the nude in extremely cold weather, their bodies painted orange with purple flowers.

Deputy Alvaro Vega with the ruling Broad Front coalition said it would be better to simply eliminate criminal penalties for first-term abortions, and leave such decisions up to individual women alone. But in the end, every member of the lower house who supports abortion rights voted in favor of the measure.

The goal is to reduce the number of illegal abortions in Uruguay, said Deputy Ivan Posada of the small center-left Independent Party, who authored the measure and provided the key tie-breaking vote.

“They talk of 30,000 a year, a hypothetical number, but whatever the number is, it’s quite dramatic for a country where 47,000 children are born each year,” Posada explained in an Associated Press interview.

The review panel should obtain the father’s point of view, but only if the woman agrees. Women under 18 must show parental consent, but they can seek approval from a judge instead if they’re unwilling or unable to involve their parents in the decision.

The measure also allows entire private health care institutions, as well as individual health care providers, to decline to perform abortions.

Opponents include Uruguay’s Catholic and evangelical institutions, which along with public hospitals provide much of the available health care in Uruguay.

Cuba, which decriminalizes abortions in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy, is the only country in Latin America where legal abortion is common. Argentina and Colombia allow it only in cases of rape or when the mother’s life is endangered. Colombia also allows it when there is proof of fetal malformation. Mexico City has legalized first-trimester abortions, but there are restrictions in most other parts of the country.

Many countries ban abortions under any conditions.

Russian Association for Population & Development (RAPD)

Российской Ассоциации “Народонаселение и Развитие” (РАНиР)

 

Planned activities for September 28 and national news

RAPD, together with its Pro-choice Coalition, are planning a chain of activities devoted to the ongoing International Campaign for Women’s Right to Safe Abortion worldwide (over almost a month around the date). For the Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion on September, 28, we plan the following activities:

  • To conduct a workshop on the right to safe and legal abortion with the former, long-standing and new members and supporters of the “Rowan Bunch” Reproductive Choice Coalition;
  • To write a news report on the Global Day of Action to be published on our websites, the Coalition social media pages and sent to the RAPD regional branches and the 1,500 members of a service providers’ listserve maintained by one of our partner organizations.
  • In terms of visual media, we keep publicizing on our social media pages videos of a bilingual English/Russian seminar we organized in the summer on the topic of access to abortion as a human right in Central and Eastern Europe, trying to maintain interest and increase knowledge of different aspects and related problems among our audience.
  • Several videos are going to be published on our Facebook page around September 28.

And on another note, the national news on abortion in Russia

On July 12, Elena Mizulina, the MP who has introduced most anti-abortion amendments in the Russian Parliament (Duma) last year, has now introduced a new proposal that aims at punishing/criminalizing providers of illegal abortions (proposing administrative punishment when, for example, the obligatory waiting period is not respected or when abortion is performed after the 12 weak cut-off). Committing the “offence” twice or more during one year could lead to big fines or up to 3 years in jail. The proposal has been introduced into the State Duma Committee on Constitutional Law and State-Building, and the Committee has not yet taken any further steps with regard to it.

 

Meanwhile, the famous St Petersburg Regional MP Milonov, author of the scandalous law on the so-called “propaganda of homosexualism”, has introduced a law proposal on the embryo’s rights. The Saint-Petersburg Regional Parliament is going to discuss the law proposal next week (September 17-21), and Milonov hopes that it will be sent then to the State Duma.

There are also, however, some positive changes we can report. After WHO issued its new Safe Abortion Guidance for Health Systems, the Russian Ministry of Healthcare and Social Development accordingly has initiated the development of its new Regulations (Poryadok= Order) on performance of abortion for medical institutions.

From: Director and Moscow team of RAPD


September 11, 2012 News

 

On September 10th, the special commission created to analyze various versions of voluntary interruption of pregnancy bills in the House of Representatives, approved a bill that will be considered for a full House vote on September 25th, where 50 affirmative votes are needed to pass.  If it passes, it will be sent to the Senate for its final approval.

 

The bill approved by the commission was based on a proposal by the Independent congressman Iván Posada.  While the law has been touted as a “decriminalization” law, in truth it states that penalties for the “crime of abortion” set out in a 1938 law will not be applied if the woman complies with a series of steps in a health institution affiliated with the National Integrated Health System.   The second article of the project states: “The interruption of a pregnancy will not be penalized, and as a result the articles 325 and 325 bis of the Penal Code will not be applicable, in the case that the woman voluntarily compiles with the requirements that are established in the following articles, and realizes [the interruption of her pregnancy] before the 12th week” (Second Article)

 

The requirements are that a woman, in the case of an undesired pregnancy, goes to a health center and expresses the factors that lead to her pregnancy and her reasons for wanting to end it. The doctor will refer her to an interdisciplinary team that will meet on the same or the next day.  The team will be made up of a gynecologist, a psychiatrist, and a social health professional.  It will inform the woman about maternity support, adoption possibilities, and the inherent risks involved in the termination of a pregnancy.  Afterwards, the woman will have a required five days to “reflect” about her decision and, if she still wants to abort, the health institution will immediately coordinate the procedure.

The entire procedure, as well as the informed consent of the woman, will be recorded in her clinical history.

In the event in which a pregnancy is the result rape, abortions may be performed up until 14 weeks of pregnancy. If the pregnancy represents a “significant risk” to the women’s health, or if there is a birth defect that is incompatible with life in the fetus, abortions may be preformed without a time restriction.


Conscientious objection

The proposed bill establishes that health professionals who are conscientiously opposed to abortion should advise their primary health institution of their opinions, such that their objection be applicable in all of the health institutions in which they have the privilege to practice.

Institutions whose “ideals” are opposed to abortion – like the Círculo Católico and the Hospital Evangélico – will not be obligated to practice abortions, but they must refer any woman who seeks the procedure to another institution that will perform it.


Types of procedures

Although the bill does not define a specific type of abortion procedure, it specifies that the Ministry of Public Health should keep a registry of all the pharmacological drugs with abortifacient properties that it prescribes.  This leads us to believe that other pregnancy termination methods will not be demanded.  If this is indeed the case, the law would restrict women’s right to choose other existing abortion method possibilities.


Other conditions

Access to abortion would be limited to natural or legal Uruguayan citizens, and foreigners that demonstrate at least a year of residency in the country.  If they do not have the required consent of their legal guardians, minors and women declared mentally unable will go before a judge, who will determine if their decision is voluntary, spontaneous and conscientious, in which case he or she will approve the procedure.

 

—     MYSU – Mujer y Salud en Uruguay
Mauricio de los Santos

Comunicaciones
Salto 1267 | 2410 39 81 | 099 210 666
comunicaciones@mysu.org.uy
www.mysu.org.uy
www.hacelosvaler.org
www.facebook.com/abortolegal
www.youtube.com/MujerYSaludUruguay
Montevideo – Uruguay

Lilián Abracinskas
Directora
MYSU
Mujer y Salud en Uruguay
Salto 1267 CP 11200
Montevideo – Uruguay
Tel: +598 24103981 / 24104619
www.mysu.org.uy
labracinskas@mysu.org.uy

by Vanessa Rivera de la Fuente, Reporter
24 July, 2012

 

www.globalpressinstitute.org/global-news/americas/argentina/campaign-advocates-legalization-abortion-argentina

 

With two laws passed this year giving citizens more control over legal decisions about their bodies, a campaign is advocating for legal, safe and free abortion in Argentina in order to reduce the number of women who die in clandestine clinics. Still, advocates aren’t confident that the Argentine National Congress will pass the bill this year despite the fact that a majority of Argentines disapprove of penalizing a woman for procuring an abortion.

 

Analía, 32, obtained a clandestine abortion five years ago in Buenos Aires… “Look, I began a relationship with a man, you know,” she says. “We went out for eight months. We ended when I got pregnant, rather, when we got pregnant. I didn’t make the baby alone, but he left me alone with the matter. Afterwards, he informed me that he was married. There was nothing I could do. He didn’t want to take reponsibility.”

 

All he offered to do was to pay for the abortion.”He told me: ‘Don’t come to me with your problems. Tell me how much money you need and take care of it yourself.’ It hurt me. I was in love, and I thought that we had a solid relationship.”She decided to have an abortion because she couldn’t afford to raise the child alone.”I don’t have a high-level job,” says Analía, who works as an administrative employee at a local hospital. “I have never worked for much more than the minimum wage. I don’t have higher studies. If I did have the baby, I was going to need economic, family and my partner’s support. I wasn’t capable of facing my family or anybody. I felt very alone.”

 

Her voice drops to a whisper as she talks about the clandestine procedure.”I was six weeks [pregnant] more or less,” she says. She found the doctor who performed the abortion through a contact at the hospital where she works. “There is always someone who knows where you can go,” she says, her voice as thin as she is. “I thought that I was going to die.”The “clinic” was a normal house. One of the rooms contained basic medical supplies.”There, they did a suction on me,” she says. The father of the baby dropped her off but didn’t accompany her inside. “He dropped me off there, and he left. We never talked again.”

 

Analía is now one of many supporters here of a bill asking for legal, safe and free abortion in Argentina through the Proyecto de Ley de Interrupción Voluntaria del Embarazo.Analía recently attended a festival in support of the bill, the Festival Itinerante por el Aborto Legal, Seguro y Gratuito (Travelling festival for safe, legal, free abortion), held during the month of May in the city’s Centro de la Cooperación. Local initiatives, like the festival, are generating awareness about a bill that would legalize abortion for all women in Argentina. Advocates say the law would reduce maternal mortality. Advocates say they are encouraged by two laws passed by the Argentine National Congress this year that give people more control over their bodies.

 

Some 500,000 illegal abortions take place in Argentina annually, according to the Campaña Nacional por el Derecho al Aborto Legal, Seguro y Gratuito (National Campaign for the Right to Legal, Safe, Free Abortion), a campaign that has united various organizations in support of the pending bill. In Argentina, 40% of pregnancies don’t come to term, many ending voluntarily in clandestine clinics. Abortion is the principal cause of maternal mortality in Argentina, accounting for 30% of maternal deaths, according to the campaign. In many cases, neither health complications nor deaths are reported to the authorities after a clandestine abortion. For every woman that seeks help from a doctor after obtaining one, seven others with complications stay quiet and don’t seek health services.Abortion is illegal in Argentina. But the Supreme Court here ruled in March 2012 that any woman who becomes pregnant as a result of rape may obtain an abortion. Before this, courts approved abortions on a case-by-case basis, mostly for victims who were mentally disabled. Abortions are also allowed if the pregnancy would endanger the woman’s life.

 

Nearly 57% of Argentinians disagree with penalizing a woman who has an abortion, according to a 2010 survey of 1,400 adults over the age of 18 conducted by Ibarómetro, a private market research firm.

The bill was presented to the National Congress in 2008 but lost its status because it was not addressed, according to the Campaña Nacional por el Derecho al Aborto Legal, Seguro y Gratuito. In March 2010, the campaign presented the document again with the signatures of more than 30 deputies. Debate began in Congress at the end of 2011, but the bill has not advanced.

 

In May 2012, the national Senate approved two laws related to the right to decide about one’s own life and body: the death with dignity law and the gender identity law. The first permits terminally ill patients to refuse medical treatments. The second enables each person to legally choose their sex, regardless of the sex assigned at birth.

El Proyecto de Ley de Interrupción Voluntaria del Embarazo declares that every woman has the right to decide whether to have an abortion during the first 12 weeks of her pregnancy. It also establishes a woman’s right to access abortion that is legal, safe and free.

 

“The activities of the festival make the people able to know and to have an informed position in respect to [abortion],” Analía says. “It doesn’t try to favor abortion, but to legalize its practice, to end the isolation of women.”With half a million women obtaining abortions annually regardless of the law, legalization would make sure they are safe.

 

The church hierarchy opposes the bill as did the Supreme Court earlier this year, declaring both an attack on life and a crime against the baby to be born. Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, president of the country, has also repeated that she is against abortion. But the deputies who signed for the reactivation of the bill are for the most part from the party to which she belongs, Frente para la Victoria.But without the president’s support, Analía doesn’t think that the bill will pass this year.”I don’t believe that the law will pass this year,” she says. “That is not to say that we don’t have to keep fighting, although we have the most powerful woman in the country against it.”

 

Jiménez Abraham underlines the power of the organization of groups and advocates in the Campaña Nacional por el Derecho al Aborto Legal, Seguro y Gratuito.”We know that we have a very difficult path,” he says. “We have the conviction to be fighting in favor of social justice and for the end of inequalities in access to the health and enjoyment of reproductive rights… The slogan of our mobilization proposes a holistic approach regarding sexuality and maternity: sexual education in order to decide, contraceptives in order to not abort, legal abortion in order to not die,” he says.

 

Analía also charges society with forcing women to seek abortions in clandestine clinics.”To the woman who becomes pregnant, they say that she is the only one responsible for her pregnancy,” Analía says. “But they criminalize her if she decides for herself. It is perverse and sad. They leave the woman alone, without options. The men wash their hands, and the society permits it. Afterwards, the only one guilty is me for aborting.”But she says this is neither accurate nor just.”I am not a criminal,” she says. “No woman who aborts is one. The woman who is going to go into a clandestine clinic is one who, like me, is poor. She doesn’t have the money to pay for a safe and confidential abortion.”

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