In a less tight vote than expected, the Senate signed the legalization of abortion into law


After twelve hours of debate, in a historical session, the national Senate signed into law the bill that legalizes abortion until the 14th week of gestation. The sanction had more votes in favor than expected in recent days: 38 senators, including Peronists, radicals and the PRO. On the other side, he had 29 against, also with an equal crosscut, in addition to one abstention. In any case, it was the Front of All that contributed the most votes, although one of its main opponents was the head of the bloc, José Mayans. There were two absences that also subtracted ‘heavenly’ votes: the former governor of San Luis, Adolfo Rodríguez Saá, and the Riojan senator White vega. Abstention from William Snopek, a Peronist from Jujuy, was also discounted to that sector.

For the first time since Cristina Fernández is Vice President, her son Maximum Kirchner, head of the block of deputies of the Frente de Todos, crossed the Legislative Palace and followed the final stretch of a session, in this case the closing speeches and the vote on the voluntary interruption of pregnancy together with Sergio Massa, President of the Chamber of Deputies. The holder of the body had retired early and left her place to Claudia Ledesma Abdala, Martín Lousteau and Laura Rodríguez Machado. He returned for the last closing speeches, one light blue and one green for each block and for the vote that determined the sanction of the law of voluntary interruption of pregnancy by a much greater margin than expected.

Sergio Massa and Malena Galmarini were two of the leaders of the ruling party who came to witness the vote (Senate Communication)
Sergio Massa and Malena Galmarini were two of the leaders of the ruling party who came to witness the vote (Senate Communication)

The session went smoothly, despite the anger of Silvia Elías de Pérez, who traveled from Tucumán, dressed completely in light blue and summoned to prosecute the law. There was respect in the speeches, which did not have outbursts or harsh epithets. Speeches were also followed from a box by the Minister of Women, Gender and Diversity, Elizabeth Gómez Alcorta; the Vice Minister of Health, Carla Vizotti; the presidential advisor Dora Barrancos; the secretary of Legal and Technical, Vilma Ibarra, who was the drafter of the Government project agreed with senators and deputies, and Malena galmarini, president of AySA. There were also several deputies promoting the law, all with something green or dressed in that color.

They were mostly emotional speeches, such as that of the Peronist Silvina García Larraburu, who in 2018 voted against and this time in favor. Or the one from Buenos Aires Gladys Gonzalez (PRO), who described herself as deeply Catholic and recalled that she lost a pregnancy two days after voting in favor of abortion. “For an instant I thought that God had punished me,” she said moved, and then clarified that “the God I believe in is not a God who punishes, it is a God who loves and is compassionate.” Thus, he demanded that the State and the Church do something to change the situation.

In the closings, the formoseño Luis Naidenoff, present in the room, raised his voice loudly to demand the sanction of the bill submitted by the Deputies. He had already voted in favor in 2018 and was again the only senator from his province to support the law. “The clandestine business has the mark of money and the seal of inequality” he affirmed and asked “to end this injustice”. “The law protects inequality,” he remarked and pointed to the other two senators from Formosa who opposed it. Usually confronted with the ruling party, he held a vote shared by different political parties. “Hopefully with this cross-sectional debate that has taken place we can have the ability to find points of agreement on other issues in Argentina,” he stressed, although unlike the statement of some leaders of Together for Change, he considered that “the priority is a equal treatment for women ”.

Finally, the vote was defined with more margin than expected
Finally, the vote was defined with more margin than expected

He followed it Anabel Fernandez Sagasti, deputy head of the Frente de Todos block, who described herself as excited and nervous. He nodded and smiled when Cristina Fernández listened to her with great attention. The Mendoza woman highlighted “agreeing without pettiness” as they did references from different forces. “The Government has made a difficult decision, with great courage, because the easiest thing is to keep looking the other way,” he thanked the Executive for sending the project.

Paradoxically, the closing of the discussion, before the vote, was left to Mayans who reproached Alberto Fernández: “The President is obliged to respect the Constitution,” he asserted and also described it as “a bad law with very bad drafting.” He even criticized the possible regulation promised in exchange for a couple of votes. “The law cannot be altered,” he warned while the Vice President looked on with annoyed expression. He used arguments that the opposition used throughout the year and also warned that he will be prosecuted. “The institutional order is not respected, if you want to do it, do it well,” he insisted. In his case, the time stipulated for the closings was exceeded, which was 25 minutes. “The Civil Code says one thing and the Penal Code says something else, you cannot accompany this legislative disaster that they presented”, founded the Formoseño.

The debate on the premises had started at 16:00. The first topic was to vote on the extension of the license of Jose Alperovich, investigated in a sexual abuse case. Nobody objected, although if he had been he would have chosen the celestial side.

The definition was anticipating speech after speech. For several weeks, Oscar Castillo (Frente Cívico de Catamarca) was silent. It was short, the shortest of all. He anticipated the last vote that had yet to be defined in favor of the voluntary interruption of pregnancy. Simply He said he would vote again as he did two years ago and asked to insert the same speech. Conversely, Senator García Larraburu (Frente de Todos) said that she deconstructed herself and that in the last two years she listened and changed her mind: she voted in favor of the law, when in 2018 she had voted with the celestial group that stopped the sanction. The result was ultimately much broader than expected or at least what had been made public.

The timing of the approval of the law in the Senate

In the last days, both sides counted the same number of senators for and against. There was even talk of a definition “by penalties” and the Kirchnerist attempt to avoid a scenario in which Cristina Fernández went to the tiebreaker.

However, the vote-by-vote work of the ruling party and opposition, and even the Casa Rosada, achieved a broader result. “This expansion of rights is unstoppable,” he said. Martin Lousteau by basing their affirmative vote and asking those who doubted the vote to meditate. “I say this especially to the members of my party”added. And he responded to his co-religionist Silvia Elías de Pérez who asked to go to the Justice against the law: “We have heard some threats about the unconstitutionality on the subject of international treaties, (…) Gil Lavedra exposed it and I want to read something that stops It is very important for me and for my party. Alfonsín was very fiercely opposed to any position being reflected in the 94 Constitution, so I want to read a fragment of his own words in the Constituent Convention: The clause we are considering has been the result of extensive conversations and exchange of ideas this project , which does not tell the Legislature to criminalize abortion or to free up any possibility of abortion, but it is an initiative that could be perfectly linked to the legislation of a country that accepts abortion, such as Sweden, and could also be it to that of a country like Ireland, which forbids it ”.

Martín Lousteau reaffirmed his support for the law and called on his party colleagues to reflect
Martín Lousteau reaffirmed his support for the law and called on his party colleagues to reflect

“This debate has been one of deep respect,” he said. Julio Cobos from Mendoza, reiterating that he would vote negatively. Your bench partner Pamela Verasay voted in favor. The man from Mendoza made a request to the senator Norma Durango, an informant member of the Frente de Todos as president of the Women’s Banking Commission who had announced at the opening of the session the commitment to modify, with a partial veto, an article of the law questioned by some senators. “Regulation with a veto cannot go against the spirit of the law, neither more nor less,” he warned about a correction requested by Alberto Weretilneck as a condition to vote in favor. The senator of Juntos Somos Río Negro had warned that leaving the “integral health” of the pregnant person as a motivation for an abortion after week 14 was a term too open to interpretation. Durango warned that the President, when promulgating the law, will remove the word “integral” in order to avoid the return of the rule to Deputies. It was one of the negotiations to obtain approval and also avoid the return to the chamber of origin and speed up the sanction.

I kept reading

Alberto Fernández played hard in favor of abortion and scored a political victory that exceeds the Frente de Todos

Gladys González’s hard story about the pregnancy she lost after the abortion debate in 2018: “I thought God had punished me for having voted in favor of legalization”

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