Argentine activists gather for Congressional vote on abortion

admin   •   August 9, 2018   •   2282

Abortion rights activists gather as lawmakers are expected to vote on a bill legalizing abortion, in Buenos Aires, Argentina August 8, 2018. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci

Crowds of Argentines both opposed and in favor of the legalization of abortion swelled the South American nation’s Congress as the country’s Senate took up debate on Wednesday (August 8) on a bill that would legalize abortion in the country as protesters gathered outside.

The proposal, which would expand abortion rights beyond current laws that allow the procedure only in cases of rape or when the mother’s health is at risk, passed the lower house last month by 129 votes to 125.

Since then religious activists, particularly in rural parts of the country, have pushed back against the measure, which is backed by feminists and rights groups galvanized in recent years by efforts to stop violence against women.

The large crowds of supporters and opponents of the bill gathered outside, chanting, singing, praying and waving signs and banners.

The bill would make Argentina the third country in Latin American to broadly legalize abortion, after Uruguay and Cuba.

The bill, which would allow abortion through the first 14 weeks of pregnancy, may be amended by the Senate and sent back to the lower house.

The measure is supported by advocates who want an end to the unregulated abortions that, according to government data, are the country’s leading cause of maternal mortality. — Reuters

 

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Duterte slams Iceland for abortion policy

Robie de Guzman   •   August 28, 2019

FILE PHOTO: A baby holds her father’s hand. Michaela Rehle / Reuters

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday slammed Iceland for allowing abortion to be legalized in the Nordic country.

Duterte condemned Iceland, which recently initiated a United Nations probe into the human rights situation in the Philippines for the alleged killings under its war on drugs, for allowing the “slaughter of the fetus inside the womb of the mother up to six months.”

“Do you know in Iceland they allow abortion up to six months? You have one more month and you have the principle of intra-uterine life that you give birth at six months the baby will survive,” the president said in a speech during the 31st anniversary of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program in Quezon City on Tuesday.

Abortion has been legal in Iceland since 1975. The law allowed the termination of a pregnancy up until the end of the 16th weeks.

But in May 2019, Iceland’s parliament passed a new law which allows abortion to be performed until the end of the 22nd week of pregnancy.

The new law also made the decision to terminate pregnancy available solely in the hands of the pregnant person.

Duterte said Iceland worries about the drug pushers in the Philippines but it allowed the slaughter of unborn children.

“Drug lords who are pushing drugs, killing our citizens and creating a social dysfunction in almost all tinamaan and there are about a million and six of them who are slaves to a drug called shabu,” he said.

“Hindi naiintindihan ng mga gag*** iyan… Palibhasa itong Iceland wala namang kain ‘yan e puro ice lang ang kain, wala namang tubig iyan e. Bobo ang mga put******** ‘yan…” he added.

Duterte said he supports family planning but will never allow abortion to be legalized in the country.

“Abortion is out of the question. I will not allow it,” he said.

The president previously expressed his ire against Iceland after it initiated a probe into the country’s alleged extrajudicial killings.

The United Nations Human Rights Council in July adopted a resolution calling for the conduct of a comprehensive review on the human rights situation in the Philippines amid Duterte’s campaign against illegal drugs.

The move prompted Duterte to seriously consider cutting ties with Iceland for its move that can be considered as interference in the country’s affairs.

Malacañang also slammed the ‘grotesquely one-sided’ resolution, calling it an insult to the majority of Filipinos who expressed satisfaction on Duterte’s governance. (RRD with details from Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

Uruguay sees opportunity to learn from massive power outage

Robie de Guzman   •   June 17, 2019

The president of Uruguay’s government-owned utility UTE said on Sunday (June 16) that the massive power failure that began in Argentina and left tens of millions in South America without power would be an opportunity to improve the country’s power systems.

Speaking at a news conference in Montevideo, UTE head Gonzalo Casaravilla said: “this instance is going to be an opportunity because it placed our entire system at the same time in a situation that will definitely allow us to draw conclusions from.”

“We are in the middle of this event. Let’s keep in mind that Argentina is slowly recovering its system. We are absolutely on guard, in a state of alarm, to follow along in that process. We’ll keep you up to date,” he added.

Argentina’s grid “collapsed” around 7 a.m. local time (1100 GMT), leaving the entire country without power and cutting electricity to much of neighboring Uruguay and swaths of Paraguay, as well.

Energy distributors in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, whose populations total nearly 55 million, said power was being quickly restored to major cities and heavily populated coastal regions, including Montevideo and Buenos Aires.

UTE said it had restored power to 75% of the country by 1:30 p.m. local time (1730 GMT).

It told its customers in a statement that there existed “no other examples of such events like this in recent years.” (REUTERS)

Argentines struggle as ‘unprecedented’ power failure strikes country

Robie de Guzman   •   June 17, 2019

Courtesy : Reuters

Argentine President Mauricio Macri called the massive blackout that left tens of millions in South America without power on Sunday (June 15) “unprecedented,” and promised a thorough investigation.

Argentina’s grid “collapsed” around 7 a.m. local time (1100 GMT), leaving the entire country without power, Argentina’s Energy Secretariat said.

The outage also cut electricity to much of neighboring Uruguay and swaths of Paraguay, and shut down YPF’s La Plata refinery, Argentina’s largest.

Macri said the blackout had been prompted by a failure in the country’s coastal grid but said that officials still did not know what had caused the problem.

Half of Argentina had power by mid-afternoon, Macri said.

Energy distributors in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, whose populations total nearly 55 million, said power was being quickly restored to major cities and heavily populated coastal regions, including Montevideo and Buenos Aires.

The blackout comes amid a deepening economic crisis in Argentina that has left nearly a third of the country in poverty, pushed interest rates skyward and sent the peso tumbling against the dollar, prompting mass protests throughout the country.

The massive blackout on Father’s Day left Buenos Aires dark early this morning, hobbling public transportation, cutting off water supply and crippling phone and internet communications across the city. (REUTERS)

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