Ever since Cambiemos announced it won’t block an eventual debate about the decriminalization and legalization of abortion in Congress, the political conversation has been dominated by speculation about the chances it would have of succeeding.
Considering the government indicated that it would allow lawmakers who vote along its guidelines to follow their conscience, most of its high-ranking officials – including members of the different executive branches and cabinets held by Cambiemos – have come out to publicly express their stance.
Although the vast majority is against decriminalization, there are some exceptions. Below is a list of who thinks what, and their comments on the matter.
President Mauricio Macri: in the ninth Eucharistic Congress held in Tucumán Province in 2016, he defended “life from conception until death.”
Buenos Aires Province Governor María Eugenia Vidal: “I am in favor of life. No woman chooses to have an abortion,” she said in September 2015. Moreover, her administration backtracked in 2016 on a resolution that guaranteed women access to legal (or “non-punishable” as they’re often referred to in Argentina) abortions in cases where their health is at risk or when the pregnancy was the result of rape or abuse.
Vice President Gabriela Michetti: “In my opinion, life begins with the embryo and states have to consider that the right to live is the first human right. If we defend it in any circumstance, and I think there is life there, I have to defend it,” she said in October 2017.
Cabinet Chief Marcos Peña: “I am not in favor of decriminalization, but I understand the complexity of the issue,” he argued in an interview that took place last Sunday. “We have to promote a debate because there are many opinions both in favor of and against, and many grey areas due to its complexity,” he added.
Buenos Aires City Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta: According to Clarín, he is against legalization.
Interior Minister Rogelio Frigerio: “I am against abortion, I am in favor of life,” he said in an interview on February 19.
Security Minister Patricia Bullrich: Bullrich used to be in favor of decriminalizing abortion. So much so that in 1994, she introduced a bill to regulate it. However, her mindset changed with the years; she argues it is due to older age and the fact that she has grandchildren now.
Education Minister Alejandro Finocchiaro: In an interview with Cadena 3, he said he is in favor “of human life.” “I am not in favor of the death penalty or abortion. I do support contraception,” he added.
Others: Ministers Guillermo Dietrich (Transportation), Triaca (Labor), Oscar Aguad (Defense), Luis Etchevehere (Agro-industry), Germán Garavano (Justice), Jorge Faurie (Foreign Affairs) and Carolina Stanley (Social Development) have not given statements about the matter, but these articles from La Nación and Clarín assure they are against.
In Congress: Cambiemos co-founder and leader of the Coalición Civica Elisa “Lilita” Carrió is known to be against decriminalizing abortion; leader of the PRO caucus in the Lower House Nicolás Massot said in an interview today that he believes “nowadays the religious argument does not seem necessary anymore, but the question is whether it is worthy to protect life, as we do with all other lives.” Provisional President of the Senate Federico Pinedo said “there is no difference between ending the life of a child that is going to be born than one who has already been born.”
Health Minister Adolfo Rubinstein: “It is proven that in countries where abortion is legal, the number of abortions performed is not higher than the one in countries where it is illegal. The main difference is that, in the former, maternal mortality rates have been reduced drastically,” he said in an interview with Clarín.
Minister of Science and Productive Innovation Lino Barañao: “I am in favor of decriminalization, but I do not support considering abortion a contraception method,” he said in an interview with Radio Con Vos.
Environment Minister Sergio Bergman: Against decriminalization in the past, the minister – who is also a rabbi – is now in favor. According to La Nación, he believes abortions should only be performed as a last resort.
Energy Minister Juan José Aranguren: “Yes or no answers are always counterproductive. I am in favor of free will. Depending on the circumstances, with adequate sexual education and the use of condoms, I approve of it,” he said when consulted about the matter.
Culture Minister Pablo Avelluto: Avelluto said he is “in favor of decriminalization” and “of reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies through information and sex education.”
Production Minister Francisco Cabrera: Although there are no public statements available, the media report he is in favor.
Ministers: Gustavo Santos (Tourism), Luis Caputo (Finance), Andrés Ibarra (Modernization), Nicolás Dujovne (Treasury).