Argentina's lower house concludes pro-choice debate, law to be passed on Friday
It will be on the premises and with the risk groups excepted, according to a protocol agreed by Deputies leader Massa and the heads of the Cambiemos caucus. The session will start on Thursday, although it would last for 36 hours.

The law to legalize abortion was debated this Friday by the deputies in a plenary session of commissions and on Wednesday it will have a decision to be dealt with the next day in a session that will last 36 hours and will end at noon on Friday, when the greens pro-choice congresswomen hope to approve the project sent by president Alberto Fernández and send it to the Senate for the final vote.

Closing this schedule was possible only at midnight on Friday after long negotiations between lower chamber president Sergio Massa and the heads of Cambiemos to define a new protocol for remote sessions, which will consist of the return to the face-to-face meetings but with the possibility of exceptions for those who are part of risk groups according to the latest decree of social distancing that applies to the Capital and the metropolitan area.

The possibility of arriving at the day chosen to debate abortion without a protocol of sessions was a possibility until this Thursday, when Massa did not receive a counter-proposal from Cambiemos, which imposed the hard line that insisted on returning to face-to-face meetings without exceptions.

It was not a possibility for the ruling party, because with a couple of absences it would have lost the quorum; but neither did it help to guarantee the abortion session, due to the fact that those who are fighting for its approval believe that they have the votes to win but could not confirm it if a part of the precinct was absent.

Cambiemos' greens were key to unlocking the negotiations, in the hundreds of chats that crossed paths this Friday with their toughest peers, their bosses and the House authorities. Of the 257 deputies there are about 70 at risk, many have been participating in the sessions but others do not plan to enter the building.

It will be the task of the commission to check the motives in each case, and this Friday the most intransigent of the opposition asked to participate, as a consolation to not getting away with sitting all the pro-government deputies for the first time since March.

The debate on abortion and the 1000 day law will begin on Thursday at 9 am and will last for more than 30 hours. Friday afternoon would be approved. The deputies who constitute risk groups would be allowed to be absent.

The first test of presence will be on Wednesday when four commissions (General Legislation, Health, Women and Diversity and Criminal Legislation) will meet to sign the opinion of the project to interrupt the pregnancy at 14 weeks of gestation and the 1000 days, which aims to protect pregnant women and children up to 2 years.

They will be held in the morning and afternoon and if all the members attended they would exceed 100 and should have gone to the premises, but with the authorized exceptions they will be much less and would enter Annex C, the room of the main plenary of commissions, closed since March. At noon, the deputies must cross over to the premises to ratify authorities, in what is known as the preparatory session of each December.

Pablo Yedlin and Monica Macha.

On Thursday the 10th there will be a session to debate the project of abortion and the 1000 days. It will start at 9 in the morning and 240 people have already registered, enough for the session to be extended until Friday at noon or afternoon. There will be negotiations with the pro and anti groups to stretch their pilgrimages as much as possible.

In the Senate, the path is also paved for a session without regulatory conflicts: on Friday Cambiemos accepted the protocol for remote sessions until March, with the possibility of occupying up to 4 seats for each of the two largest fronts and 2 for the rest.

End of the debate

This Friday the signing of the abortion ruling was scheduled but the regulatory debate was postponed and it was a day of exchange of opinions between the deputies, the majority by zoom and the authorities in the Delia Parodi hall of the palace.

There were four days of presentations, questions and answers read and moderate speeches, far from the long days of 2018 in which the strong tension between the deputies who formed the green and blue groups was felt, at that time with a closed fight that ended with an unthinkable victory for the former.

Although this Friday its exponents raised their firm positions as the case of Graciela Camaño, against the law and this time ready to fight. "We don't want the State to get involved in defending the life that is coming, but to transform that life into something and make it available in the name of expanding rights. Abortion is tragic, whether it is legal or illegal. We are making a very serious mistake by proposing to society that death be the solution".

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