The President’s pen or faith in him will define the most important vote of the first year of his government and even of his entire term. Even more than judicial reform, the Budget or even retirement mobility. Voluntary termination of pregnancy is one of those projects that is guaranteed a page in the history books, like equal marriage or bonding divorce. Although no one defines himself as a triumphalist in the ruling party, they believe that tomorrow morning it will be law. If the projections estimated by Infobae are specified, the greens could be imposed by 35 or 36 votes against 32 or at most 33. There are no certainties but at the time of the definitions it is more likely that votes will be added in favor of the law than against or that instead it will be swollen the list of abstentions.
President Alberto Fernandez follow the talks and the counting of possible votes for the legalization of abortion mainly with Anabel Fernandez Sagasti. As deputy head of the Frente de Todos bloc, and representative of the green sector, Mendoza leads the strategy to enact the law. On the other side yesterday afternoon, after 18, the Formoseño José Mayans, head of the Frente de Todos bloc, led another meeting but together with the radical Silvia Elías de Pérez. The “celestial interblock”, as they call it in Congress, did its own count and outlined its strategy to reject the law. In that “poroteo”, as they call it in parliamentary jargon, there were 34 votes in favor; 32 against (without the vote of Carlos Menem); two abstentions (Alberto Weretilneck and Lucila Crexell) and two undecided (Edgardo Kueider and Sergio ‘Oso’ Leavy). Those 32 or at most 33 celestial votes would be the ceiling of those who oppose the IVE, as they allowed to transcend.
Those who preferred not to reveal their position to escape pressure, or are not yet convinced of their vote, today will have to define themselves and make their position public. Weekend Infobae made accounts according to the demonstrations, without projections or speculations: 30 senators and senators had stated that they would vote in favor and 32, against. In the middle was a group of 9 senators, not counting the Tucuman Jose Alperovich who is on leave under investigation for a case of sexual abuse of his niece. The delicate state of health of Carlos Menem leaves, with the former governor of Tucumán, two votes less for the celestial.
The list of doubts, which can always be swollen with surprises and last minute changes, would end up tilting the balance in favor. Probably. On the other hand, the quorum was guaranteed since it was agreed that the debate will take place and the result will be defined through voting. A sign that this tool will not be used is the order of the day: first the law of the Thousand Days of assistance to future mothers and children up to the age of three will be debated and voted on. Once that law is enacted, perhaps unanimously, the discussion about the legalization of abortion will start.
That score is included in Salta Sergio ‘Bear’ Leavy. It was blue but could change position at the request of the Government. After he himself admitted that he was thinking about his vote, Salta was plastered with his face and a message to reject the law. The dilemma for him is whether to vote what he thinks Salta expect or according to his party mandate. Two years ago the head of La Cámpora, Andrés Larroque, had the same problem and voted in favor.
Something similar to the escraches that Leavy suffered happened to Edgardo kueider, also Peronist but entrerriano. His case is different because he was always in favor of decriminalizing abortion and signed the opinion in dissent. He objected to some articles of the law that could allow abortions after the 14th week in case the pregnant person considers that their “integral health” is at risk. It seems difficult for the senator for Entre Ríos to vote against a law that was drafted in Casa Rosada and that would facilitate a defeat that would be attributed to the President. On the other hand, the victory, although it would give air to the head of state, will surely be shared by being achieved with a transversal vote. But defeat is a scenario that several senators from the Frente de Todos want to avoid.
In the same vein, the former governor of Río Negro insisted with requests for changes, Alberto Weretilneck. In your case, you expect a promise of partial veto or some specification in the regulations in response to some of your requests to vote in favor. Your other option is abstention. There would be conversations that would bring it closer to the vote promoted by the national government but the definition will be in the room.
Changes to the text of the law would not be. They have already ruled it out in Government and in the Ministry of Women, Diversity and Gender where Elizabeth Gómez Alcorta The conversations of the group of senators who seek to guarantee the sanction of the law and led by Fernández Sagasti continue hour by hour. There were also talks with the governors who in some cases are more compromised by the weight of the Church in their districts.
Two senators from Together for Change who voted in favor in 2018, with strong arguments today, prefer to remain silent. It’s about the people of Cordoba Ernesto Martinez and Laura Rodriguez Machado who believe that circumstances have changed since Mauricio Macri enabled the discussion as President and this law promoted by the Government together with vast sectors of women and organizations that have been protesting for years. In Córdoba there will be elections next year and while the rumors about supposed requests from the PRO not to help the ruling party remain, in the interblock of Together for Change they assure that in the end, both will maintain the position of two years ago. “It’s green,” they answer about each of the two.
An unknown is instead the entrerriana Stella Maris OlallaPerhaps the only vote that the celestial of this squad of doubtful could add, although last night they did not count it in that squad. Lucila Crexell of the Neuquino Popular Movement already abstained in 2018 so he will repeat his position or vote in favor. Alone Oscar Castillo, from the Civic Front of Catamarca, which ends its mandate next year, could reverse and go from green to abstention. Also in his case it seems highly unlikely that he will vote against.
Although in Olivos and in La Rosada they deny official pressure, there was a repeated argument in the talks with different senators: the law was promoted by the President and a defeat would weaken him. They claim that the vice president herself gave instructions to work in their support. In fact, to facilitate the enactment of the law and protect senators from possible pressure in their provinces, Cristina Kirchner enabled the legislators to participate in person in the historic session.
Although there will only be a dozen senators within the compound, between the authorities and the elected representatives of each bloc, they will be allowed a rotation system at the time of speeches. The permission runs for both colors. For example Silvia Elías de Pérez He traveled to Buenos Aires for the first time since the declaration of isolation in March.
Several senators suffered in recent days escraches, sending letters, messages through social networks and in their mailboxes to demand their vote. The tucumana Beatriz Mirkin, from the Frente de Todos, described himself as “fed up” after receiving 900 emails in just one day. The PRO missionary Humberto Schiavoni was asked to meet representatives of different churches and although he spoke, he assured that he will not change his vote in favor. Like him, there is a hard core in Together for Change that will not only vote in favor but also work for the IVE: Guadalupe Tagliaferri, Martín Lousteau and Luis Naidenoff, among others.
Among those who this time prefer to meet from their offices, there are senators of different positions and blocks. For example, in addition to the people of Buenos Aires and Buenos Aires, several of those who will vote against traveled through Together for Change, such as Pablo Blanco; Silvia Elías from Tucumán; Chaco Victor Zimmerman; Alfredo de Angeli from Entre Ríos and also Olalla and Pamela Verasay from Mendoza, another of the flag-bearers of the vote in favor.
In the Frente de Todos there were senators who undertook the trip during the weekend so as not to take risks, such as Nancy González, from Chubut, another of the operators in favor of the law. Kueider, from Entre Ríos, will also meet from their offices, as is usual for Jorge Taiana and Mariano Recalde; Oscar Parrilli and Fernández Sagasti, among others. If there were perfect attendance, 38 senators will be meeting from the Legislative Palace, 32 remotely connected, one absent and one on leave.
The definition will be at dawn and after a long session with speeches of ten minutes each, except for the closings, and with the promise of being flexible in the use of the word so that everyone can express themselves. To know the result, we will have to wait for the end of the session, which will have at least one point of majority agreement with the Law of a Thousand Days.
I kept reading:
Humberto Schiavoni denied pressure from Mauricio Macri against legal abortion: “If the law comes out, it will not be a triumph of the Government”
Allies and opponents: a Kirchnerist senator and one from PRO join forces for legal abortion