Argentina abortion: President Alberto Fernández proposes legalisation

Argentina abortion: President Alberto Fernández proposes legalisation

BBC·2020-03-02 13:07

AFP

Green scarves have become the symbol of the campaign to legalise abortion

Argentina's President Alberto Fernández has said he will send a bill to legalise abortion to Congress within the next 10 days.

Mr Fernández, who was sworn in as president in December, has previously described abortion as "a matter of public health".

In Argentina, abortion is allowed only in cases of rape, or if the mother's health is in danger.

It is largely prohibited across Latin America, except in restricted cases.

If the bill is passed, Argentina will become the largest country in the region to legalise abortion.

"Abortion happens, it's a fact," the president said in his first annual address to Congress.

"A state should protect citizens in general and women in particular. And in the 21st Century, every society needs to respect the individual choice of its members to decide freely about their bodies."

Mr Fernández also promised to introduce a programme to improve sex education.

A previous attempt to change the law in Argentina, where the population is overwhelmingly Roman Catholic, failed.

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