As Mayor, Macri, who has today positioned himself as the mentor of a parliamentary debate on abortion, had no qualms vetoing a law passed by the City Legislature in 2012 that sought to regulate legal abortions. He tried to explain his reasons following that decision but it remains on his record despite recently allowing his lawmakers in the national Congress to open debate on the issue.
The City’s law would have regulated abortions in cases where a women’s life was in danger due to pregnancy, where a woman had been raped, and by lowering the legal age for sexual intercourse to 14. It did not, however, set gestation periods and the debate was fierce, with 30 votes in favour and 29 against.
The debate was prompted by the F.A.L. case in which the Supreme Court ratified that women had the right to abort in the aforementioned situations, and insisted that there should be no medical, bureaucratic or judicial impediment in the desire to carry out an abortion.
Macri claimed that the Legislature’s Law 4,318 exceeded what the Court had declared. He vetoed the law one week later via decree 504/2012 with the support of several Cabinet ministers including the current City Mayor, Horacio Rodríguez Larreta.
On abortion, Cristina acted similarly to Macri in the eight years she was president.
“The moment will come”, she said, but it never did. Many women in her own Victory Front movement tried to push a debate on abortion decriminalisation in the parliamentary sphere but always hit the “due obedience” wall built by Cristina, whose opposition to the idea was well known.
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.
What is certain is that the during the last decade of power CFK and Macri, abortion remained a mortal and clandestine issue.