Alberto Fernández, president of Argentina, says he will send a bill to the congress towards the legalisation of abortion. Abortion has, until now, been allowed only in cases of rape or in situations where the mother’s health is considered to be in danger.
According to BBC, Fernández disclosed this during his first annual address to congress on Sunday. He said that he will be backing the initiative — which had previously been rejected — adding that the bill would be sent within the next 10 days.
“Abortion happens, it’s a fact. A state should protect citizens in general and women in particular,” the president was quoted to have said.
“And in the 21st Century, every society needs to respect the individual choice of its members to decide freely about their bodies. The current legislation on abortion is not effective.
“It has condemned many women of scarce resources to turn to clandestine abortion practices, putting at risk their health and many times their lives.”
Matters pertaining to the legal status of abortion have been controversial in recent times, with Rihanna Fenty, US singer, criticizing Kay Ivey, governor of Alabama, for banning the practice.
With abortion being largely prohibited across Latin America, Argentina will become the largest country in the region to legalise the practice once it’s approved.