Women in Argentina officially have the right to receive an abortion after the passing of a new law.
The country of Argentina has just made history with its new bill that legalizes a woman’s right to receive an abortion. On Wednesday, Argentina’s Senate voted 38 to 29, passing the law that was also supported by President Alberto Fernández.
The move comes after years of outcry and protests. Hundreds gathered outside the Palace of the Argentine National Congress in anticipation of the results. One of the bill supporters, Gabriela Giacomelli, whose two sisters had illegal abortions, called the bill’s passing “very emotional.”
“We have been fighting for years,” Giacomelli said. “I see young people now, though I hope they never have to abort, but if they do now they can do it safely.” Mariela Belski, executive director of Amnesty International Argentina and an ambassador for the global women’s rights movement She Decides, said: “Today, Argentina has made an emblematic step forward in defending the rights of women, girls and people with reproductive capacity.”
CNN reports that the law will legalize abortions for cases up to 14 weeks of pregnancy. Before, the country only allowed abortions if a woman was raped or if her health was at risk. Prior to the bill, a woman could be imprisoned for up to 15 years.
Belski said that the move sends “a strong message of hope to our entire continent — that we can change course against the criminalization of abortion and against clandestine abortions, which pose serious risks to the health and lives of millions of people. Both the law passed by the Argentine Congress today and the enormous effort of the women’s movement to achieve this are an inspiration to the Americas, and to the world.”