President Alberto Fernández told world leaders and members of civil society on Wednesday that Argentina is committed to gender equality, promising that his government would continue to “guarantee more equality and more rights" to women, lesbians, gays, bisexuals and members of the trans community, both nationally and also internationally.
Speaking at the Generation Equality Forum held in Paris via videoconference, the Peronist leader described Argentina's historic decision to legalise abortion in the country almost six months ago as "a cultural transformation."
Fernández expressed his pride at seeing the Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy (IVE) bill pass successfully through Congress, but said that such measures needed to be backed up by public policies and state support.
"This law assures that never again in our country will a woman or person with the capacity to carry a child put her life or health at risk in a clandestine abortion, and it will also mean an enormous cultural transformation, in terms of autonomy," he said.
The president said that Argentina is committed to "ensuring comprehensive sexual education throughout the national territory" and that his government is working to "guarantee effective universal, legal and free access to abortion and post-abortion care."
Fernández chose to address the event via videoconference, after deciding over the weekend to cancel his trip to the summit in Paris due to the urgencies of "the new wave of Covid-19."
The president confirmed the cancellation in a letter to his French colleague Emmanuel Macron, who had invited him to the forum, apologising for his absence explaining the reasons for his decision, which included his flight being ill-advised when he had just ordered the entry of air passengers into the country to be restricted to a daily 600 to prevent infiltration of the Delta strain.
The president’s decision, according to reports, was influenced by the absence of various other world leaders whom he had been hoping to meet such as United States Vice-President Kamala Harris and German Chancellor Ángela Merkel.
Fernández said summits such as the one he was addressing helped to create "the platform to continue working to guarantee more equality and more rights."
Last weekend President Fernández headed a ceremony in the Kirchner Cultural Centre to pay tribute to Covid-19 victims.