President Alberto Fernández's bill to legalise abortion in Argentina will not be sent to Congress until Monday, sources close to the government have confirmed.
The reform package will be sent to the Chamber of Deputies on Monday should all go to plan, amid chaos prompted by the coronavirus pandemic.
The delay was confirmed to the Noticias Argentinas news agency by sources in the lower house yesterday.
The General Legislation Committee leading off the debate has already been formed, chaired by deputy Cecilia Moreau.. But the Social Action and Public Health, Women and Diversity and Criminal Legislation Committees are still being filled..
In addition to this postponement, committee sessions have been ruled out for the rest of the month, since Chamber of Deputies Speaker Sergio Massa has ordered the "provisional suspension" of all activities until the end of March.
After many rumours in recent days, it was finally confirmed this week that all four committee chairs involved in approving the abortion bill are militantly in favour.
In Criminal Legislation, Kirchnerite Carolina Gaillard won the helm against Ramiro Gutiérrez, one of the deputies who has been ambiguous about his vote.
The native of Entre Ríos, who answers politically to former governor Sergio Urribarri, declared that "it is an honour to assume the responsibility," thanking "the confidence" shown by Máximo and Cristina Kirchner and President Alberto Fernández.
"One of the first topics will undoubtedly be the treatment of the bill for the voluntary termination of pregnancy,, which is a debt to women's rights," she pointed out.
Despite Gaillard's statements, as the day went on, doubts arose as to her committee’s role. "There is no crime, so what would be the point of including Criminal Legislation?" indicated an influential Frente de Todos deputy.
The health committee will be headed by Tucumán Peronist Pablo Yedlin, while the women's committee will be under Nuevo Encuentro Kirchnerite Mónica Macha.