On August 8th, 2018, the Argentine Senate rejected the bill of voluntary interruption of pregnancy. 38 senators (against 31) opposed to legal, safe and free abortion, which already had a half sanction from the Chamber of Deputies. 38 senators, and through them, the Argentine State, opposed to accept the decision of each person and each woman about her body and about her life; they opposed to guarantee dignified conditions for that decision, they opposed to protect each person and each woman that they represent. In this way they ratified the direct responsibility of the State in the deaths and sufferings that entails the illegality and the precariousness imposed; they ratified a state policy of inequality and marginalization; they ratified an exclusive and exclusive State; they ratified a dependent State, dependent on religious beliefs, dependent on ecclesiastical leaders; they ratified an archaic State; they ratified a patriarchal and macho state; They ratified a State that we do not want, a State that we do not constitute and that does not constitute us.
Many of the speeches that preceded the voting revealed no longer ideological differences or differences in the conceptions of state policy that can be debated within the framework of a Senate. They reveal above all a representational body characterized by foolishness, ignorance, denial and, worse still, characterized by confessional criteria of a minority: the one of religious fundamentalism that spreads and worryingly extends its political and economic power in the region.
The voting day of the bill IVE in the Argentine Senate showed an abysmal gap between two bodies: the representational body within the precinct and the political body outside it, that of the struggles and forces that pre- and post-August 8th and exceeding national limits.
Being part of these forces, the RedCSur, opens here a space of visibility for testimonies and contributions from different parts of the continent, to continue thinking and affirming the struggles for abortion and the irreversible advance of its social decriminalization, because the failure was not only a failure for Argentina, but a message for the entire region.
We added an intervention in the parliamentary debate in Argentina by the sociologist Nayla Vacarezza, who has also specialized in intersections between art and activism for the right to abortion. The text “Escuchen el murmullo de esta revolución” raises the need to make intelligible the different and heterodox ways of feeling about abortion that until recently lacked public expression, and seeks to denaturalize the codification of abortion as an exclusively traumatic experience. The text is accompanied by the image of the feminist wave by Mela Rebalsa collective.
We also include the text “They Are Afraid of Us” by Verónica Gago, written from the pulse of the massive protest march on August 8 in Buenos Aires. The text revives the historic day showing how the feminist force in the streets made tremble the hierarchy between the public (as a male space of deliberation and political action) and the private (as female domestic confinement) that protects the patriarchal order, disrupting politic cartographies and leaving in evidence the symptoms of a senatorial speech that saw its pacts and privileges threatened. An essential text to replicate the political force of a movement that does not yield to a deaf political class that turns its back on the street, a movement that came to stay. The text is accompanied by images of the Argentine photographer Gala Abramovich.
From the Chilean context, where in the last march of July 25, three women were stabbed and anti-abortion groups deployed a canvas asking for the sterilization of women and spilling animal blood on public roads, we included the text “El momento del aborto libre“, by Karen Glavic. This text points out different temporalities of the fight for abortion and proposes to think about the claim for free abortion as a chance to run the fence of the possible that has delimited the political during the neoliberal post-dictatorship in Chile, by betting on “a project of demercantilización of the society, that also can be a recovery of the bodies that never is totally individual “, as it asks the liberal policy.
We share the text “La polémica en torno al aborto y el derecho a la salud en México” by the Mexican researchers, Lucía Melgar and Susana Lerner, who critically review the discussion for the legalization of abortion in Mexico, systematizing the framework of pro-rights and anti-rights proposals. As a starting point of their analyses they take the case of Martha Patricia Martínez, who in 2016 was convicted of having had an abortion spontaneous in the city of Veracruz, which is reiterated in the debates that go through many of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. The text is accompanied by a series of images of mobilizations for the abortion during the eighties and images of current demostrations by Monica Meyer and Maris Bustamante.