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CULTURE | 17-02-2020 16:26

'19F': Pro-abortion activists prepare to renew call for legalisation

Third annual '19F' march, led by the National Campaign for Legal, Safe and Free Abortion, will take place this Wednesday from 5pm before Congress.

Pro-abortion activists in Argentina have called a rally for this Wednesday (February 19), during which they will once again call for the legalisation of the procedure.

Just weeks after President Alberto Fernández announced to Congress that he would present a bill to legalise abortion, the National Campaign for Legal, Safe and Free Abortion will hold a pañuelazo rally at the doors of the National Congress. The organisation will hold similar rallies in cities across the country and region, turning Argentina green with the movement's iconic handkerchiefs.

A large turn-out is expected on Wednesday for '19-F', which has become a fixed date – a day of "green action" – in the feminist calendar. This is the third year running large numbers will take to the street to press for safe, free and legal access to terminations. The event begins officially at 5pm, though demonstrators are expected to turn up earlier than that, and in theory runs until 7pm or 7.30pm.

The timing of the event, given that the event falls on a work day, was chosen to accommodate those who wish to attend after work.

Debate

A bill has not yet been sent to Congress by the Fernández administration, despite repeated declarations from the Peronist leader that he would do so. Reports over the weekend suggested a March 1 date had been pencilled in by the government.

Last week, the government offered confusion and conflicting views on its next step: whether it would seek to legalise or decriminalise the termination of pregnancies.

Women, Gender, and Diversity Minister Elizabeth Gómez Alcorta said midweek that the Fernández administration was preparing a "project to legalise abortion—and not just decriminalisation."

However, Alcorta’s statements contrasted with words from Cabinet Chief Santiago Cafiero, who recently implied an initial bill from the government would eliminate penalties for, but not legalise, abortions.

—TIMES/NA

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