The Argentine House of Representatives is set to vote on its much-anticipated abortion bill on Wednesday and it seems more senators are leaning to decriminalize the procedure.
Argentines More in Favor of Legal Abortions Than Ever
Of the house’s 257 legislators it’s estimated that 109 will vote in favor and 117 against, but about 31 still haven’t made up their mind.
However, several of the ‘undecideds’ have come out more strongly toward the pro-abortion camp, and democracy, just within the past several days.
Conservative legislatures, Atilio Benedetti and Aida Ayala set their religious convictions aside and said they would vote in favor of legal, safe and free abortions. "I was never in favor of abortion, but it is a social reality that we cannot continue hiding under the carpet," Benedetti according to Parlamentario.com. "I am convinced that this law is the best thing for the country, particularly for women and for public health," he ended. Ayala, who has been accused of “labor discrimination based on politics,” said in a radio interview, "I am in favor of the decriminalization of abortion."
Several other senators told the press they were putting their religion aside to vote for public’s health and well-being.
Senator, Daniel Lipovetzky, who presides over the health and family committees and headed up the house pro-abortion bloc, confirmed this week that the majority opinion was for the legalization of abortion, according to Pagina 12. He thanked house members for a "respectful and tolerant debate" over the past two and a half months.
Since April the house has held public hearings once a week that allowed individuals and organizations from both sides of the debate to present before the lawmakers. Some 700 people and organizations presented their cases in front of four house committees.
"Ladies and gentlemen, our position has been very clear: it is a question of public health, and legislators have the responsibility to leave our personal positions aside because we have to work for the common good," said Front for Victory senator, Carolina Moises at Tuesday’s closing debate.
Pro and anti-abortion advocates are expected to hold all-night vigils outside of Congress in anticipation of Wednesday’s final decision.
This was the seventh time since 2007 that the National Campaign for the Right to Legal, Safe and Free Abortions presented the bill to the house, but the first time it was considered for debate. If passed, the law would enable women free, safe and legal abortions up to the 14th week of inception. Between 370,000 and 520,000 abortions are carried out every year in secrecy in Argentina. About 49,000 women end up at the hospital because of complications related to unsafe surgeries.
An Ipsos Public Affairs poll published in late April found that 74 percent of Argentines either want women to be able to have an abortion at any time or at least when she has been raped – up from 66 percent in 2017.