On June 14, 2018, the lower house of Argentina’s congress narrowly voted 129-123 to allow abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. Should the senate approve the bill, President Mauricio Macri has indicated that he will sign it—this would make Argentina the third country in Latin American to legalize abortion, after Cuba and Uruguay.
Prior to the vote, Incubator Resident Alicia Ely Yamin—Director of the Health and Human Rights Initiative at the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University—was invited to testify in front of the Argentine Congress. Yamin filmed her testimony earlier this month at the Incubator’s Learning Studios.
“This comes at the end of a long process of deliberation,” said Yamin, explaining that the Argentine Congress had already solicited extensive epidemiological and legal input. Rather than echo the same evidence, Yamin hoped to underscore that decriminalization of abortion is only the beginning of a much longer process. In her testimony, Yamin described a “circle of accountability” for actualizing decriminalization that looks at institutional capacity; accounts for multisectoral planning (e.g., sexuality education); and includes appropriate funding, training, supply chains, and institutional changes.
In her first residency, Yamin collaborated with the Incubator on a teaching pack on health and human rights to introduce students to the interdisciplinary topic explain how they are related to each other, and articulate why they matter in today’s world.