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Abortion Debate: As Voting Looms Large, Both Camps Take Measures to Support Their Stance

By | [email protected] | June 11, 2018 12:22pm

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The fate of the bill aimed at decriminalizing abortion will begin to be decided tomorrow, when the members of the four commissions in the Lower House that have been debating the issue for almost three months vote on whether to send it to the floor. If that is the case – and all indicators point to yes – the Chamber of Deputies will vote on it the day after.

As the moment looms large, the camps in favor and against the sanctioning of the bill put forward by the Campaign for Free, Legal, and Safe abortion are conducting the last measures aimed at giving visibility to their stance.

Yesterday, groups advocating against it marched in different cities across the country, under the rallying cry “let’s save both lives.”

The march in Rosario. Photo via Sebastián Granata/Télam/CF 10/06/2018

The march in Rosario. Photo via Sebastián Granata/Télam/CF
10/06/2018

Vice President Gabriela Michetti again externalized her support of these groups in an interview last night, saying that when having an abortion, a woman is not deciding over her own body, but someone else’s. “You have it inside your body, but it is not your body, it is someone else’s. Its DNA is different than that of the mother and the father,” she said. Michetti also organized a picture of the Cambiemos members who share her point of view, as a response to an identical picture taken by party members who are on the other camp.

The two pictures. Photo via Clarín

The two pictures. Photo via Clarín

Groups that call themselves pro-life intend to gather outside Congress on Wednesday during the voting. However, groups in favor of decriminalization are also planning to attend; as such, the Security ministries of both the City of Buenos Aires and the nation are preparing a thorough security operation to prevent potential clashes.

Besides the march, groups within the latter camp are planning other ways of manifesting their support to the bill. Students from different public schools will decide today whether to take over the institutions and then march on Congress from there, as proposed by the Buenos Aires University Federation (FUBA). Most are likely to do so.

FUBA President Julián Asiner indicated that UBA’s School of Humanities (Filosofía y Letras) has joined the initiative, and “the schools of Psychology and Social Sciences will decide so on Tuesday.” “Other institutions in the interior, such as the ones in Rosario and La Plata, will also hold assemblies to decide,” he added.

The result of the voting is completely uncertain, as most voices in Congress estimate an extremely narrow outcome. So far, most surveys conducted within Congress and by news sites coincide on the fact that the votes against the bill have a narrow lead, but point out that there are between 20 and 25 deputies who have not anticipated their vote and will tip the scale.

A reason for this is the fact that many deputies who intend to vote in favor stated they have been threatened and pressured to do so against.

“Unbelievable. Children of deputies who support decriminalization are being attacked all over the country,” reads the tweet of former Health Minister Gines González García.

Speaking along the same lines, Cambiemos Deputy Silvia Lospenatto, who favors the bill, said “Some deputies tell us they will wait until the last minute because they do not have the ability to handle the pressure for many days.” “Even though this is a rough debate, we should not be subjected to these attacks,” she added.

Wednesday’s session is expected to be extremely long, with the voting set to take place in the early hours of Thursday.