A group of artists, politicians and journalists collaborated to create a video under the slogan #LibertadParaBelén (#FreeBelén) demanding the release of Belén, a young woman from Tucumán Province who was condemned to eight years in prison for having allegedly induced an abortion.
The #FreeBelén campaign is demanding the annulment of Belén’s sentence and her immediate release.
The video opens: “Belén is a young woman from Tucumán who has been imprisoned for two years, simply for entering a public hospital seeking medical attention.” The advocates in the video range from comedian Malena Pichot to musician Valentina Cooke to journalist Silvia Cassina.
Later in the video, Ursula Vargas, a television host, states, “Belén was condemned for being a woman and being poor.”
Two years ago, Belén went to the hospital after enduring crippling abdominal pain. There she was accused by hospital staff of having caused an abortion during the 20th week of her pregnancy, though Belén denies having ever been pregnant. Despite her claims, she was held behind bars for two years and a few months ago was condemned to eight years in prison for “doubly aggravated homicide.”
Abortion is illegal in Argentina unless it is considered to endanger the mother’s health or be a the cause of rape (however, the “rape” needs to be proven). Several initiatives have been struck up in Congress to reform abortion laws but none have succeeded so far. In fact, President Mauricio Macri recently made it clear that he will be not be passing any law in support of abortion.