Teacher Celeste Mac Dougall, a key player in today’s protest. (Photo via FMLibre)

The National Campaign for Legal, Safe, and Free Abortions (CNDA) is protesting today, both online and IRL. The group organized a tuitazo (a tweetstorm) that took place between 12 PM and 2 PM and a pañuelazo (real-life protest, referring to the green pañuelos, that’s to say, bandanas most protesters will wear) in front of Congress today at 6 PM.

Protesters are advocating for a bill that works to expand abortion rights.

“The campaign has been supporting this bill for the past 12 years,” said Celeste Mac Dougall, a representative of CNDA. “The bill states that every woman has the basic human right to interrupt her pregnancy in the first 14 weeks if she so desires. Every year, women die from clandestine abortions, and it is legislators’ responsibility to ensure both women’s health and livelihoods.”

Some key stats about abortion in Argentina

Currently, abortion is only legal if the mother’s life is in danger or when the pregnancy is a result of rape. However, according to the National Ministry of Health, between 370,000 and 522,000 abortions are performed annually, most of them illegal.

In 2011 there were 47,879 hospital discharges for abortions; 19 percent of those were for women under the age of 20. 

In 2012, 33 women died obtaining illegal abortions. More than one-quarter of those women were younger than 24 years old. Half of those who died obtaining illegal abortions in 2013 were younger than 29.

Source: DEIS, 2013
Source: DEIS, 2013

“We are considered second-class citizens because we can’t make decisions about our own bodies,” Mac Dougall added.

In Argentina, abortion is set in a heavily socioeconomic context, with a well-known refrain oft repeated: “Las ricas abortan, las pobres mueren” (“rich women terminate, poor women die”). For many activists and allies, abortion is not necessarily a moral issue, but a public health one that cannot be ignored any longer.

March organizers don’t wish to debate whether abortion is right or wrong, but rather stand up and fight for the basic right of women to make decisions about their bodies and their reproductive health.

Some tweets from today’s Tuitazo

And in case you were wondering, the rain won’t stop the protests:

Publicado en Bubble.ar el
2018-02-19 16:42:16

Mollie Leavitt

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