Argentina's Lower House Approves Government Pro-Choice Law, Seeks Fast-Track Approval in Senate
The vote was 131 in favor and 117 against. The government lobbied and managed to secure votes until the last minute. They will try to make it law before the end of the year.

The Chamber of Deputies in Argentina approved this Friday morning the bill that enables abortion after 20 hours of debate witnessed by government officials, who made efforts until the last minute to achieve a resounding victory and will try to repeat it in the Senate so that access to abortion becomes law.

It was approved with 131 votes in favor, two more than the majority of the House, and 117 against. The Upper House still needs a couple of votes to guarantee the sanction and if it meets, it could be dealt with in a session before the end of the year.

"We want it to go quickly," was the slogan heard from every emissary from the Casa Rosada who walked through the halls of Congress, crowded as never before this year. It won't be easy because even the head of the government, José Mayans, is against it, he won't change his position and he's close to any presidential pressure.

The deputies of Cambiemos who support the law celebrated their victory. 

The Minister of Health Ginés González García, the Minister of Women and Diversity Elizabeth Gómez Alcorta and the President of Aysa Malena Galmarini, wife of the President of the Lower House of Representatives Sergio Massa, paraded through the boxes in the hall early in the afternoon to receive the contingent from the Casa Rosada in their offices.

The streets were gradually covered by demonstrators, with the same 2018 security protocol that prevented incidents: green (who support the law), on Rivadavia Avenue, at the entrance of the House of Representatives; and blue (who reject it) on Irigoyen, the entrance door to the Senate. The plaza was left empty and guarded by police personnel, and screens with audio equipment were placed so that people could follow the session.

In the afternoon, the official representatives speculated that President Alberto Fernandez might arrive, but preferred not to appear, despite the fact that the law is his campaign promise. Minutes before the vote, Cristian Ritondo, head of the PRO and against abortion, made a strong reproach because he believed that there was no authorization for the entrance of militants and the boxes were covered with green handkerchiefs. "He didn't keep his word," he reproached Massa.

Cecilia Moreau.

The session was held in person, with the exceptions authorized to those who justified with a medical certificate a risk of catching Covid 19, due to age or previous illnesses, which could appear on screens placed at the end of the premises, smaller than those used during the last eight months, when 47 of the 257 deputies occupied seats.

Two deputies voted in favor of VPN in such delicate conditions that they were not taken into account by the green women in their afternoon porno. Blanca Osuana, from Entre Ríos, spoke from a clinic in Entre Ríos, where she is hospitalized for coronavirus. 

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