Famed Argentine cartoonist Joaquín Lavado, more commonly known as Quino, has called on anti-abortion campaigners not to misrepresent his views, after images began circulating on the Internet and social networks of the cartoonist’s most famous creation, Mafalda, wearing a blue pro-life handkerchief.
“I did not authorise it, it does not reflect my position,” Quino wrote in a statement issued from his home in Mendoza.
The widely shared image shows a smiling Mafalda with a blue handkerchief where it reads: “Save the two lives,” a pro-life slogan, next to the photo of Quino, with a supposed quote attributed to the artist.
The abortion debate is one of the most divisive political issues in years, with a bill that would decriminalise the procedure currently in Congress, with a vote due in the coming weeks.
Quino, 86, explained in his statement that “images of Mafalda have been spread with the blue handkerchief that symbolises opposition to the law of voluntary termination of pregnancy ... I request it be removed.”
“I have always supported the causes of human rights in general, and in particular the human rights of women, to whom I wish them luck in their demands,” Quino added.
The bill in Congress would decriminalise abortion in the first 14 weeks and in cases where the infant would not survive after birth was passed by the lower house Chamber of Deputies last month, before the upper house Senate began debating it just over two weeks ago.
A final debate on the matter will be held on August 8.
Priest delivers excommunication warning
Meanwhile, Father Rafael Del Blanco, a priest in Resistencia, Chaco, warned President Mauricio Macri and other legislators this week that they could be excommunicated from the Church if abortion is legalised.
The priest said that, according to Church law, “any person who contributes or takes a concrete action toward producing an abortion, as much as those who carry out the practice, will be excommunicated [from the Church.]”
He added that anyone who participated “directly or indirectly” would be “automatically excommunicated,” said Del Blanco, saying that the measure would affect legislators who voted for the bill’s passage and the president “for having enabled the debate.”