Many co-workers are in the front line of the fight for legal abortion. They did not dare before, but today they join the pañuelazos [use of green scarves to express support to the abortion bill; T.N.] and demonstrations taking place before the Congress and in the neighborhoods with joy and expectations. The green scarf of the National Campaign for the Right to Legal, Safe and Free Abortion became a symbol of the wish of thousands of women to decide the time of their maternity. If you wear a green scarf, you are in favor of abortion.
By Lorena Cáceres – PSTU Argentina.
More people are standing for this right, even actresses and show business personalities express their wish to end clandestine abortions, but we must discuss which bill do working women need to be able to actually decide.
From Lucha Mujer (Woman, Fight) and the PSTU, we support and encourage all actions in favor of legal abortion. We are convinced that the mass dissemination achieved by broad unity is the correct way. We chant and march with joy alongside co-workers with whom we have political differences and with whom we argue on other issues. But we also affirm that working women need much more than the bill agreed upon by several representatives, which do not represent the working class – on the contrary.
No to “consensus” with bosses
The bill presented by the Campaign and the FIT (Frente de Izquierda- Left Front), poses the voluntary interruption of pregnancy, it revokes the articles that punishes it and offers many advances regarding women’s autonomy on this decision. This project is an advance compared to the current clandestine situation, but it is limited to a proposal for care and respect to women’s health. We believe it is a mistake for the FIT (PO-PTS) to sign a bill in agreement with pro-bosses representatives, which “for the sake of consensus” and to be able to vote on June 13, are modifying the campaign’s project, imposing a setback with even more limitations.
The slogan we repeated so often, “sexual education to decide, contraceptives not to abort, legal abortion not to die” is not clearly expressed in this bill. So for this to be possible, we must have an abortion law that includes mandatory sexual education in schools, controlled by education employees and by students. Expanding the concept of sexual education to health centers, with conferences in the neighborhoods and workplaces, led by unions and delegates. Just as health employees are doing in many public hospitals, without the intervention of the bosses or the State.
Without Budget, There is No Legal Abortion
We insist: legalization is a public health issue. It is necessary for workers, popular sectors and students to access the most convenient birth control methods for each person, freely and without restrictions. Hospitals and health centers in neighborhoods now lack all supplies. Without budget, there will not be birth control available for those who need it.
Also, voluntary interruption of pregnancy must be carried out by professionals, with hygiene conditions and the necessary supplies in public hospitals. If the law does not specify a budget and states where the money will come from, it will not become a reality.
Working women will need to stand in line from 3 am on just to get a number, as they do now, just to get an appointment in hospials, because each time there are less doctors, nurses and health employees. There are no supplies or hygiene conditions due to lack of maintenance. There are also no teams to support, accompany and help women going through this situation. There are no education programs to fight male-chauvinism so that we stop being victims of obstetric violence and discrimination on behalf of professionals that are against abortion.
The Fight must go on
The bill that working and poor women need must consider these elements. It should have a control commission in the hands of workers’ and women’s organizations to guarantee its application. It must demand the budget to guarantee abortions in public hospitals, imposing the increase in education and health budgets. The resources must come from the non-payment of the foreign debt and progressive taxes on great multi-nationals and landowners.
Even if the workers’ bill were presented in the parliament, we think if would not suffice. The fight of the working people in the streets, led by women would be necessary to achieve it. We cannot trust the corrupt Congress, the pro-cut, anti-worker Macri administration, nor imperialism.