Argentinians hold a virtual mobilization to demand abortion rights

The National Campaign for the Right to Legal, Safe and Free Abortion, gave the call for the demonstration on the occasion of its fifteenth anniversary

May 29, 2020 by Tanya Wadhwa
Argentine women, activists, feminist movements and social organizations celebrated President Alberto Fernandez's announcement with hope in March 2020. Photo: Marcha Noticias

On May 28, on the International Day of Action for Women’s Health, the National Campaign for the Right to Legal, Safe and Free Abortion in Argentina celebrated its fifteenth anniversary. On the occasion, the movement that has been at the forefront of the struggle for abortion rights in the country, called on the citizens to mobilize virtually, demanding legalization of this integral human right.

Tens of thousands of women, queer and non-binary people took part in the virtual pañuelazo or a march with green scarves, which represents the feminist struggle for legal abortion. They shared their messages and photos with green scarves on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, demanding the approval of the Voluntary Termination of Pregnancy (IVE) bill. Several political leaders, social activists, human rights organizations, women and LGBTQI movements also participated.

Hashtags such as #28M (#28May), #15AñosDeCampaña (#15YearsOfCampaign), #AbortoLegal2020 (#LegalAbortion2020), #AbortoLegalYa (#LegalizeAbortionNow), #QueSeaLey (#MayItBecomesALaw), #NiñasNoMadres (#GirlsNotMothers), #DerechoAlAborto (#RightToAbort), etc. trended on social networks.

Throughout the day, the movement held several conferences, interviews and artistic performances and published the photos and videos of these events on its different social media handles.

“The future is here! We celebrated 15 years of being on the streets, fighting for a law that fully recognizes the rights of pregnant people in Argentina. 15 years of a shared history. The time is now!,” wrote the National Campaign in a tweet.

“We are mobilizing to demand access to and guarantee of rights to live with autonomy and to the fullest. We rebel against the policies that seek to control our bodies, govern our biographies and biologize the exercise of our identities,” tweeted the movement.

“We march, we gather, we recover the history of feminism, and we embrace each other in the persistence of the struggle. We proudly raise our green scarves that symbolize life as a horizon of autonomy, fulfillment, and dignity,” wrote the Campaign in another tweet.

This year, with a progressive president in power, legal abortion seems within reach in Argentina. In a session in the National Assembly on March 1, President Alberto Fernández announced that within ten days he would present a bill to decriminalize abortion in the country. For the first time in the history, a head of state advocated the right to abortion. His announcement was celebrated by women, the LGBTQI community and feminist movements and organizations, who considered it a significant breakthrough for the long-demanded abortion rights in the country.

However, due to the advent of the COVID-19 in Argentina around the same time, the decision couldn’t be executed. With this virtual demonstration, the feminist movements reminded the president of his promise and urged him to initiate the process as soon as possible.

As of May 27, Argentina has 13,920 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with 500 deaths and 4,336 recoveries.