The historic abortion debate is currently being discussed in the Argentine Senate today. The entire debate can be watched live in the video below, but Argentina Reports is bringing you key excerpts from the Senators who have given their views so far. Expected to last 12 hours, in the debate each Senator is given 10 minutes to explain their point of view and attempt to persuade others to change their vote.
Esteban Bullrich, the Senator for PRO in Buenos Aires has always been staunchly against the legalisation of abortion and has even gone so far as to write a poem about the unborn foetus. He came under ridicule on social media today for his quasi-philosophical thoughts on the subject.
“What is life? It is what puts us here today. Without life, nothing else exists,” he began. “We are aware of the reality. We know that there are women who take the tragic decision to abort. They think that it is an annoyance, an obstacle in their life plans. This is a failure of our society. Motherhood shouldn’t be a problem […] Without motherhood, we don’t have a future.”
Inés Brizuela, Senator for UCR in La Rioja also expressed her rejection of the new measure, arguing for the constitutional right to life from conception.
“A child, from what point? From pregnancy. Caring for the two lives is a constitutional mandate. A human being does not exist in increments, what can be incremental is a juridical capacity. But either you’re a human being or you’re not.”
María Tapia, Senator for UCR in Santa Cruz took a different tactic, placing herself firmly in favour of women’s rights, but distancing them from the abortion debate.
“I can’t see anything further from women’s empowerment than this proposal. This debate has marked our whole society. It has brought us to a turning point. We have to ask ourselves what kind of society we want.”
“By legalising abortion we are not helping women, on the contrary, we are pushing them to live with a profound sorrow.”
Beatriz Mirkin, Senator for Frente para la Victoria, PJ, in Tucumán,which has pronounced itself a completely Pro-Life state, but Mirkin is obviously not in agreement with them.
“What are women? Stomachs? Or human beings with rights? If we leave this room without a law [for legalisation of abortion] what are we going to do tomorrow? Carry on penalising women when they get to the hospital?”
Mirkin also went on to explain that adoption is not necessarily a fair alternative, as she has seen some children refused by adoption agencies due to the colour of their skin.
Norma Durango, Senator for PJ in La Pampa expressed that her duty as a Senator is not to give a personal opinion, but to give the opinion of those she is representing.
“I am not in favour of abortion, I’m in favour of decriminalisation for many reasons and for one fundamental one; women abort.”
“This seat is not mine. It belongs to the women who have fought for so long. This is about the right for women to decide on what happens to their own bodies. Motherhood will be desired or it will not be.”
Inés Pilati, Senator for PJ in Chaco told the Senate that it was her children who opened her eyes to the importance of legalising the measure.
“Young peoples’ stance makes us see that we are dealing with a young person’s subject. Maybe we need to understand that we are not legislating for us but for them, and that maybe they have other paradigms and other values.”
“It was conservative and old-fashioned sectors that, in their moment, opposed civil partnerships and sexual education in schools.”
We haven’t seen the last of the debate yet, with many more Senators waiting to make the most of their 10 minutes. However, before the debate begun, the Senators who had publicly announced that they would vote against the legislation had a majority vote, making it unlikely that the law be passed.
However, anything could happen in the next few hours. We will update our site as soon as the results come in.