Argentina Feminists: Neither a Senate Nor a Law Will Set Us Free

Graphic illustration of woman with green bandana which is the symbol of the abortion rights movement in Latin America.

Español Abajo. We reproduce this statement from our comrades in Argentina, Acción Socialista Libertaria (ASL), on the current struggle for abortion rights. It is estimated that 500,000 illegal abortions occur each year in Argentina. Around 80,000 people annually are hospitalized related to post-abortion complications and often face legal punishment as a result. Abortion remains illegal in Argentina except in except in cases of rape or when the life or health of the woman is at risk but even under those circumstances abortion services remain difficult to obtain. In June through August 2018 Argentina’s Congress considered a bill that would have allowed abortion up to 14 weeks which narrowly passed the lower house Chamber of Deputies but was voted down in the Senate on August 9. This statement is in response to the vote. #NiUnaMenos 

NEITHER A SENATE NOR A LAW WILL SET US FREE

We are convinced that only the struggle and organizing will give us freedom. We don’t want more girls to die from clandestine abortions. What happened on August 8 revealed the greatness of the feminist movement and the weakness and weariness of the parliament of the “bourgeois representative” system. Young women, lesbians and trans men will continue to have abortions; we will continue to come along with them for it to be as safe as possible. However, those “so-called representatives of the people” [of the Argentinian Senate] that earn hundreds of thousands of pesos – that only represent businessmen – restricted the possibility of legalizing abortion; legalizing the right to decide over our own bodies.

In Congress we listened to election speeches, trying to take advantage of a few minutes of “fame” to win a few new votes. We listened to how they laughed in our faces, how they denigrated us, how they lied, how they misinformed. We listened and saw how a group of cynical people, totally distanced from the reality of working class people, sat down – as if in a social gathering drinking tea – to ramble on and then vote to maintain the chains they put around our uteruses. What do they know about life and choice?

We are the ones who put our bodies on the line, the ones who suffer cold, hunger, fear humiliation and pain. We are the ones who take up the sword of “justice” – always bourgeois and patriarchal – over our heads when we become stigmatized, criminalized and persecuted. They take our lives in filthy rooms with anything handy to practice an abortion, after they fill their pockets with the money we’re able to put together, oftentimes, the money for our next meal. We mourn the compañeras that the state murders by condemning us to secrecy. We had to organize on our own, through sheer grit, to be able to be there for the pregnant folks that want to make decisions over their bodies and their lives. We are the ones who raise the money and juggle to be able to charge a phone, one of us goes upstairs, another one buys what’s necessary to help the compañera that wants to have the abortion. We are the ones that carry on our shoulders the dozens of cases and who sometimes collapse because we work ourselves out until our heads explode. We’re the ones who answer calls, give hugs and dry tears because the hypocritical social condemnation weighs over the girls who want to make their decisions. What do they know from their comfortable benches?

They’re only interested in maintaining the business of illegal abortions that includes private practices and the international trafficking of medications: 15 million pesos a year just in Argentina. Tangled up in this web is also the Laboratorios Beta (in Buenos Aires), the only company that manufactures and commercializes Misoprostol [medication that induces abortion]; a giant company that moves one billion pesos with it’s monopoly. The doctors then charge between 30 and 50 thousand pesos [roughly $1,000-1,600 US dollars] to practice an abortion in a clinic. They’re just interested in making profits at the expense of our bodies. Besides maintaining the church’s power, this hypocritical institution, which fills itself with money from the state and represses women’s and pregnant people’s right to choose – but don’t say anything, on the contrary, endorses priests to rape children.

From ASL (Acción Socialista Libertaria) we’re calling for, today more than ever, the strengthening of the political, financial and logistic support of the women’s and gender non-conforming people’s counselling and groups that accompany abortion cases. It is these groups who, all over the country, provide safe information on the use of Misoprostol and reduce risks. Likewise, as health workers we have no other alternative than continuing to commit to deepening union organizing to guarantee access to the legal abortions options that exist today and that they are now trying to adjust.

The streets are increasingly filling with green [the color of the abortion rights movement] as thousands of comrades are coming out to take a stand. The streets have spoken and, socially, the stigma is beginning to dissipate. We must think about what kind of democracy we want; clearly, representative democracy is not working. The institutions of this bourgeois democracy will never be on our side. Just as the state doesn’t address the crisis, it also doesn’t guarantee anyone’s freedom. Let’s opt for creating a direct democracy of the people and to building true self-defense and to face our struggles when necessary. We are not alone anymore, we’re all together, we are millions.

Long live those who fight! / ¡Arriba lxs que luchan!

-Acción Socialista Libertaria

 

Extra: Greetings to the Argentinian Feminist Movements from members of Black Rose/Rosa Negra. Be sure to subscribe to our channel and click the bell to receive alerts on our newest videos. 


Illustration of two woman planting small plants. Text: Ni la tierra, ni las mujeres, somos territorio de conquista. Aborto legal para que florezca la soberania sobre nuerstos destinos / Neither the land, nor women are territory to be conquered. Legal abortion for sovereignty to flourish over our destinies.
Text: Ni la tierra, ni las mujeres, somos territorio de conquista. Aborto legal para que florezca la soberania sobre nuerstos destinos / Neither the land, nor women are territory to be conquered. Legal abortion for sovereignty to flourish over our destinies.

NI UN SENADO, NI UNA LEY NOS HARÁ LIBRES

Estamos convencidas/es de que sólo la lucha y la organización nos da libertad. No queremos que se mueran más pibas por abortos clandestinos. Lo vivido el pasado 8 de agosto mostró la inmensidad del movimiento feminista y la debilidad y agotamiento del parlamento, del sistema “representativo burgués”. Las pibas, tortas y varones trans vamos a seguir abortando, vamos a seguir acompañando para que sea lo más seguro posible, sin embargo, esos “supuestos representantes del pueblo” que ganan cientos de miles de pesos –que sólo representan a los empresarios- coartaron la posibilidad de legalizar el aborto. Legalizar el derecho a decidir sobre nuestrxs propixs cuerpos.

En el Congreso escuchamos discursos electorales, tratando de aprovechar unos minutos de “fama” para ganarse un par de votos nuevos, escuchamos cómo se nos reían en la cara, cómo nos denigraban, cómo mentían, como desinformaban. Escuchamos y vimos cómo un grupo de personas cínicas, totalmente ajenas a la realidad del pueblo trabajador, se sentaban -como en una tertulia tomando el té- a divagar para después elegir continuar con las cadenas que pusieron en nuestros úteros ¿Qué saben de vida y elección ellos?

Nosotras somos las que ponemos el cuerpo, las que pasamos frío, hambre, miedo, humillaciones, dolores. Nosotras somos las que cargamos con la espada de la “justicia” –siempre patriarcal y burguesa- sobre nuestras cabezas, al ser estigmatizadas, criminalizadas, perseguidas. A nosotras nos arrebatan la vida en cuartos llenos de mugre con cualquier cosa que tengan a mano para practicarnos un aborto, después de haber llenado sus bolsillos con el dinero que conseguimos, muchas veces, sacándonos el plato de comida de la mesa. Nosotras lloramos compañeras que el Estado asesina condenándonos a la clandestinidad. Nosotras tuvimos que organizarnos solas, a pulmón, para poder acompañar a las personas gestantes que quieren decidir sobre su cuerpo y su vida. Nosotras somos las que tenemos que juntar de “a puchitos” y hacemos malabares para cargar un celular, una sube, comprar lo necesario y ayudar a la compañera que quiere abortar. Nosotras somos las que cargamos en la espalda decenas de casos y colapsamos de a ratos porque nos exigimos hasta que nos explota la cabeza. Nosotras tenemos que contestar llamados, dar abrazos y secar lágrimas porque la condena social hipócrita pesa sobre las pibas que quieren decidir ¿Qué saben ellos desde sus cómodas bancas?

A ellos sólo les interesa mantener el negocio de la ilegalidad que incuye consultorios privados, tráfico de medicación internacional: 15 mil millones de pesos al año, sólo en Argentina. Y en ese entramado están los Laboratorios Beta (ubicado en Buenos Aires), el único que fabrica y comercializa el Misoprostol, un gigante que mueve anualmente mil millones de pesos con ese monopolio; los médicos que cobran entre 30 mil y 50 mil pesos para hacer un aborto en una clínica; sólo les interesa generar mayor dinero a costa de nuestros cuerpos. Además de mantener el poder de la Iglesia, esa institución hipócrita, que se llena de dinero del Estado y coarta la libertad de decidir de las mujeres y personas gestantes; pero no dice nada, sino todo lo contrario, avala que los curas violen niñxs.

Desde ASL hacemos un llamado, hoy más que nunca, a redoblar el apoyo político, financiero y logístico a las Consejerías y agrupaciones de mujeres y géneros disidentes que acompañan casos de aborto. Son ellxs quienes en todo el país acercan información segura sobre el uso del Misoprostol y reducen los riesgos. Del mismo modo, como trabajadorxs de la salud no nos queda más que comprometernos en seguir profundizando la organización gremial para poder garantizar el acceso a las Interrupciones Legales de Embarazo que hoy existen y ahora intentan ajustarlas.

Las calles se tiñen de verde cada vez más, miles de compañerxs salieron a luchar. Las calles hablaron, y socialmente el estigma se está empezando a borrar. Debemos repensar qué democracia queremos, claramente ésta representativa no va más, las instituciones de esta democracia burguesa jamás van a estar de nuestro lado. Así como el Estado no resuelve las crisis, tampoco garantiza la libertad de nadie. Apostemos a crear la democracia directa del pueblo, a construir una verdadera autodefensa y enfrentarnos cuando lo demande la necesidad. Ya no estamos solxs, estamos todxs juntxs, somos millones.

¡Arriba lxs que luchan!

-Acción Socialista Libertaria


If you enjoyed this piece we recommend, “We Are Not Afraid: Chilean Feminism Rises in the Face of Fascist Attacks,” and for additional articles, interviews, pamphlets and audio related to feminism we recommend, “Feminist Readings & Resources.” 

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