Argentina Lost the Abortion Vote, but Advocates Are Still Fighting

We spoke to a few of the thousands of people who took to the streets of Buenos Aires on Thursday to call for the legalization of abortion.
August 10, 2018, 3:13pm

A version of this article originally appeared on VICE Argentina.

On Thursday, the Argentina Senate rejected the initiative to legalize abortion in the country. Before the Senate handed down the vote, the streets of Buenos Aires were flooded with citizens and activist groups hopeful for more reproductive freedoms. We spent time with those wearing green bandanas, a symbol of the feminist movement in Argentina, and heard why advocates for the legalization of abortion believe there still needs to be further debate.

On the right, Antonia

Antonia (22), student

"I’m from Chile. I lived here two years and it was important to me to be here to see this to become law. It would be a gigantic step forward for this country."

In the middle, Keyla

Keyla (16), student

"It’s important to give [women] the right to make their own choices about a pregnancy, regardless of whether it’s because of rape or otherwise. The important thing is that conditions [for abortion] are safe."

Ana María (70), retired

"I want justice to be served. I’m from a generation in which sex was taboo, and talking about it even more so. To the extent that this [conversation] advances, just as was the case with marriage equality, the divorce law, and gender diversity, it’s good to become aware of this, and good to fight for the separation of church and state."

Daniela (33), social worker and Ariel (60), doctor

"A woman’s right to make decisions about her body can’t be taken away by anyone. We just need for the state to support us [in this]. We’re a father and daughter, and we’re on the same page on this issue."

Claudio (36), musician

"I have a 10-year-old daughter and in my eyes it’s important that there are no more back alley abortions. The state has no business deciding whether a woman chooses to have a child or not. That’s what I teach my daughter: that she has the right to choose and that society can’t judge her or meddle in her decision."

On the right, Daniela

Daniela (43), CONICET scholarship recipient in arts and culture

"This matter is about women putting the rights that we want on the table. It’s an issue that isn’t just from one area—it’s been discussed a lot and many experts have weighed in."

Emilse (16), administrative assistant

"I want women to have the right to an abortion when they want it and need it. I’d also like the church and state to be separated, both for this kind of decision and in general."

Andrea (47), P.E. teacher

"I believe that we don’t all have the same opportunities and we have to fight for the ones we have. I’m so overwhelmed to see young people and teens fighting for their rights."

Florencia (21), law student

"I believe that having gotten this far is important, having attended protests, having attended meetings, having kept up with the debate—it makes us stronger."

Juan (31), journalist and Ariel (31), journalist

"It’s important for this law to be passed because we believe that women have the right to make decisions about their bodies. It’s an expansion of rights, and we have to suppress clandestine abortion—it shouldn’t occur here or anywhere else in the world."

Leticia (41), writer

"I’m waiting for the law to pass; there’s nothing more I could expect of this day."

Micalela (18) and Lola (18), students

"The senators have to think about the people, about women, about trans people, about people who can gestate generally, and that’s why they have to put themselves in our shoes and understand that this [issue] is going to keep on [going]. Underground abortions aren’t going to end."

Lucas (19) and Francisco (18), students

"This law is a democratic debt."

Bianca (15) and Margarita (16), students

"It’s a question of public health, of having equality before the law. We’ll stay here until they vote. Until the end."

P ablo (42), hairdresser and Lupe (37), designer

"It’s important for this law to pass so that women can freely make decisions about their own bodies. I hope this makes us stronger. We need to put more pressure on the state."

Julia (35), teacher and Andrea (34), administrative assistant

"We came from Santa Fé and we’re in it for the long haul. We’re not leaving until this becomes law."

Luis (29), administrative assistant

"I support this law just like I did with marriage equality and others that represent our rights and the rights of others."

Natalie (33), actress

"This law is necessary and you can see it in the streets, in the months that we’ve waited to be acknowledged and represented."

Sandra (38), economist

"I came here with my daughters. We came with joy, in a spirit of celebration, and with a lot of love to share with others. We’re here to support a project that could change their lives."

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