Senator Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, along with all members of her Victory Front-PJ voting bloc in the Upper House, will support legislation to decriminalise abortion in Argentina.
Argentina’s Lower House passed a bill on Thursday morning to decriminalise elective abortion within the first 14 weeks of pregnancy.
“In response to a societal demand that has been strongly expressed through the Womens’ Movement, the FpV-PJ bloc of senators confirms that it will, in its entirely, vote in favour of the bill that passed the Lower House”, the bloc said in a statement published on Twitter.
NOT ALWAYS THE CASE
Despite significant social reforms like same-sex marriage and the gender identity law, Fernández de Kirchner refused to address abortion during her two-term presidency, which ended in 2015.
“The moment will come”, she once said. But it never did.
Many women in her own Victory Front movement had tried to push a debate on abortion decriminalisation in the parliamentary sphere but always hit the “due obedience” wall built by CFK, whose opposition to the idea was well known.
Until 2015, Diana Conti and Juliana Di Tullio, ultra-Kirchnerites, stood out as proponents of decriminalisation as they faced off against the current Cambiemos Senator Esteba Bullrich.
The tension between them pushed the issue into the election campaign and caught the interest of the media.
PATH TO ABORTION
Combined with a wave of shocking cases of violence against women and the birth of the #NiUnaMenos movement in 2015, calls for legalised elective abortion in Argentina became unstoppable.
Bills to liberalise abortion legislation had traditionally failed to pass the committee level in Congress. Activists and allies within Congress had pushed for abortion legislation every two years.
In February, President Mauricio Macri confirmed he would allow a vote on the issue, despite his personal opposition to abortion.
With the current bill set to enter the Senate, Macri says he will sign a law if it is approved.