Openly in favor of the legislation from the beginning, Silvia Lospennato, PRO member and representative of the Buenos Aires Province in the Lower House, left no question as to how she would vote yesterday morning. More surprising, however, was the standing ovation that she garnered from representatives across the political spectrum as she closed the more than 20-hour debate with a moving acknowledgement of the historical significance of the moment.
Lospennato lee los nombres de las pioneras. Aplauso generalizado. pic.twitter.com/ShtQtAWFPk
— Noe Barral Grigera (@nbg__) June 14, 2018
“We have the possibility to modify a one-hundred year old law, reflect on the progression in women’s rights that has taken place. Not one of us is the same as before we began this debate,” Lospennato began.
“We are going through a profound learning process, from which there is no turning back, because we were able to acknowledge the pain that abortion signifies in our country, a pain that is confused with blame, criminalization, and inequality. Hundreds of women were encouraged to to recount the loneliness that they went through. Today, Argentine society is not the same.”
Of course, Lospennato hit home with some pointed arguments from the pro-choice camp: “This debate was not to make each other believe we are arguing in favor or against abortion. The only thing we came to discuss is legal abortion or clandestine abortion. They said they want to save both lives, it’s a fallacy. What they want is to force a woman to be a mother,” she pressed. She claimed the opposition was never able to explain how they would prevent women from terminating unwanted pregnancies.
The most emotional portion of her final message was when she took the opportunity to recognize the female victims of complications from clandestine abortion. She also took the opportunity to acknowledge the women who worked to bring visibility to the pro-choice movement and bring this law up for a vote in Congress, such as Martha Rosenberg, Marta Aanis, Nelly Minyersky, Diana Maffía, Mabel Bianco, Silvina Ramos, and Virginia Franganillo. Lospennato asserted that her vote would be “In memory of Carmen Argubay, Dora Coledesky, Loana Berkins, Verónica Barzano,” invoking the names of some of the late women legislators and activists who came before her.
“To the coalition of women who have come, and are here to stay, in Argentine politics, united in our differences but always in favor of women. To the women in their homes, our mothers, and our daughters. Let abortion be legal, safe, and free. Let it be law,” Lospennato concluded, her voice shaking, visibly moved.
QUE MESSI NI MESSI, TRÁENOS LA COPA LOSPENNATO
— Luli Farrell (@lulifarr) June 14, 2018