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Argentina

Banning abortion is violence against women

Saturday 16 June 2018, by Ni Una Menos Collective

This statement by Ni Una Menos (not one woman less) was issued on 4 June on the occasion of major demonstrations in Argentina calling for a liberalization of the law on abortion ahead of the debate scheduled to open on 13 June. On 14 June 2018 the Chamber of Deputies voted by a narrow margin to legalize abortion in the first fourteen weeks of pregnancy. [1] This great victory is the result of years of mobilization by women in Argentina. It has to be confirmed by a vote in the Senate and approval by the president. The statement was translated and abridged for publication for socialistworker.org.

IN 2015, the sound of our footsteps and the power of our voices echoed from one end of the country to the other. We began a revolution. One million people in Argentina raised a cry: Stop killing us! Not one more! We want to live! The earthquake continues. Today, for the fourth time, cis and trans women, lesbians, bisexuals and transvestites are all here together, and in every province across Argentina at once, they cry out for an end to violence against women and femicide: Not one more!

We are a powerful movement, diverse and heterogeneous, one that knows how to expose how every act of violence perpetrated against us is born from the violence perpetrated by states and governments each time they exploit our bodies, each time they disregard our human rights, each time they enforce neoliberal and capitalist economic formulas that produce more hunger and brutality.

We are not victims. We are rising up with the power of a collective dance. Our feminism is based on international struggles across Latin America and beyond, like the raised fists of Ireland that conquered the right to abortion. States and governments owe us a debt that we’ve come to collect. We are organizing and rebelling in every corner of the planet.

There are many more of us than those here today. We are the heirs of the mothers and grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo (who demanded the return of their children disappeared by the dictatorship). We are the people’s champions. We come from the poorest neighborhoods. We are trans, lesbian, bisexual, non-binary, transvestite, Indigenous, African, migrant and HIV+ women. We are each of the activists who initiated the 2005 National Campaign for Safe, Free and Legal Abortion. We are the ones who refuse to let you victimize us, and we affirm our right to pleasure, to decide our own destinies, to dispose of our own time, to neither be exploited nor obligated to fulfill desires that are not our own.

We stand in opposition to President Mauricio Macri’s government, the conservative Cambiemos party, the governors and bosses, and the dominant, elite, white, misogynist, heteronormative, racist, macho, patriarchal, neoliberal, capitalist justice system that serves only the interests of the rich and powerful. Today we come to this plaza outside of Congress to state that we will not be disciplined any more. We do not accept that the state and its authority was created owners of our bodies. We do not accept that they can tell us how, when, where and with whom we may live, with whom we may partner and with whom we may have sex.

We are here to tell them we are making history! We are alive and we are taking responsibility for those who have come before us. We are organizing ourselves to demonstrate to those who will join us tomorr