The local branch of Amnesty International today launched a new online platform to promote the legalisation of abortion in Argentina and to identify the position of candidates on the controversial issue, in view of the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections this October.
"In this electoral period, a large part of society demands to know the position of the various candidates. Many young people will decide their vote on this issue," said Mariela Belski, the executive director of Amnesty International Argentina.
Using the title "#MihistoriaCuenta," the platform details those who have taken a stance, giving voters a chance to cross-check their local representative and see how they have voted previously, or if they have made public pronouncements on the issue. The site also contains a host of information and data on the voluntary interruption of pregnancy, including a series of videos that debunk common myths and mock statements by existing lawmakers.
The move comes in the wake of last year's historic abortion debate, which saw a bill to legalise the voluntary interruption of pregnancy shot down in the Senate at the last hurdle, by 38 votes to 31. It had earlier passed through the lower house Chamber of Deputies by 129 votes to 125.
Another legislative effort to decriminalise the procedure is in the works, though it is currently semi-paralyzed by the election campaign.
On AI's new platform, those who voted in favor of the legalisation of abortion are identified with a green heart. In contrast, those who failed to support the legislation are identified with a clothes hanger – a reference to dangerous self-induced abortion procedures.
Abortion in Argentina is only decriminalised in case of pregnancy due to rape and when the woman's life is in danger.
"In an election year, this human rights organisation calls on current and upcoming national legislators to approve the IVE (voluntary termination of pregnancy) law and thus commit to solving a public health problem that affects the life of thousands of women and families," Amnesty International said in a statement.
"In the last 30 years, tmore than 3,000 have died and more than a million and a half put their health and lives at risk" in clandestine procedures, the NGO added.