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Río Negro Senator Flips on Abortion, Strengthens Pro-Life Majority

Larraburu is the 37th official to confirm intent to vote against the bill.

By | [email protected] | August 6, 2018 12:39pm

218735_00001Silvina García Larraburu announced that on Wednesday she will vote "no". (Photo via El Litoral)

The anti-abortion block in the Senate had solidified a winning majority to reject the law to decriminalize and legalize abortion. On Saturday, after Juan Carlos Romero (Salta) confirmed he would vote against the bill, formerly pro-choice Silvina García Larraburu (FpV-Río Negro) backpedalled on the issue. That adds up to 37 ‘against’ and 31 ‘for’ out of a total 72 legislators, assuring that Wednesday’s vote will halt the bill’s passage.

“As the situation stands today, the reality is that I am going to vote against [the bill]. This week tipped the scale with everything I was listening to and how the debate unfolded. It also has to do with my innermost convictions,” the Kirchernite Senator said, defending her 180-degree switch. “It is not going to resolve the fundamental issue and has to do with foreign economic interests driving and putting many resources into this debate.”

Not only did she discuss the “bad law” and call the pro-choice movement a fad, but she also used the opportunity to criticize President Macri for using the bill for political means, saying, “This has to do with an iron curtain to distract attention from the base issues, from the big, urgent issues.”

She even took to social media after her announcement to invoke religious imagery, indicating another reason for her change of heart. On Instagram, she wrote, “Against everything, He continued, He had faith! He trusted! He had courage!”

The position generated reaction from pro-choice groups and activists, such as group of scientists who sent the Senator a note asking her to reverse her decision given that she presides over the Commission of Science and Technology. Others took a more direct approach, demonstrating in front of her personal residence in Bariloche.

With two days left before the historic vote, only two Senators have yet to declare a position. However, even if José Alperovich (PJ-Tucumán) and Omar Perotti (PJ-Santa Fe) choose to vote in favor of the bill, it is impossible for it to pass. After a week of bad news, the announcement that García Larraburu would not support the bill came as a hard blow to the “green” block. Five Senators came out against the legislation and only one, Eduardo Costa (UCR-Santa Cruz) extended his support.

Despite this precarious situation, representatives from the National Campaign for the Right to Legal, Safe, and Free Abortion held a press conference in the Senate yesterday to ask for “respect for the institution of the treatment of law and that it not be overshadowed by other issues.”