In Salta, they demand that the judicial cases initiated by "abortion"

On September 28, it was the Global Day of Action for safe and legal abortion, and with this, the first year of legal abortion in Argentina was commemorated, through National Law No. 27,610, of Voluntary and Legal Interruption of Pregnancy, which occurred in December 2020. This first commemoration brought with it again the demand for the review of criminal cases against women who were denounced or convicted under the label of “abortion”.

According to the information that the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the province of Salta, gave Salta / 12, it was learned that from 2012 to January 31, 2021, there were 151 complaints in the province under said label. Of that number, and without further details, it is shown that 3 women were convicted, without specifying data that allow us to know if they maintain an effective sentence or how long it is the same.

The lack of information regarding the existing criminalization of women, trans men, and non-binary people with the capacity to bear child, is not an exclusive fault of Salta, but is repeated in several of the country’s jurisdictions. This was pointed out by the report called The criminalization of abortion and other obstetric events in Argentina, which until December last year worked with 16 of the 24 jurisdictions in the country, including Salta.

The report notes that the lack of response on this type of case is significant because “it informs us about a blind spot in the judiciary, about the questions that the judiciary does not ask, about the absence of problematization of obstetric events and the penal policies put in place to criminalize these women. ”

In most cases, abortion situations and other obstetric events -such as a complication in an unexpected delivery, a delivery in extremely poor conditions or a spontaneous abortion, in contexts of precariousness and fear- end in serious criminal charges, such as aggravated homicide or abandonment of person.

This is also shared by the lawyer from the Gema Foundation, Tania Kiriaco, who pointed out that most of the cases are classified as homicide aggravated by the bond. The lawyer argued that based on the number of complaints registered by Salta, the legal vacuum that existed in this type of conduct was evidenced, prior to the enactment of Law 27,610. “Finally, women are not going to have to serve any kind of sentence,” he stressed as a first step towards full autonomy, without neglecting the current causes.

The data from Salta indicate that Of the 151 complaints, only in 10, files were opened and the accusation was authorized. While 36 complaints were filed; 2, they were required to trial; one was called to a debate hearing, and also 3 women were sentenced: in 2015, 2016 and 2018. No resolutions related to dismissal or acquittal were registered.

In this sense, from the National Campaign for the Right to Legal, Safe and Free Abortion, they are carrying out the campaign We want them free, that seeks to accompany the unjustly criminalized and ask for the annulment of the causes related to abortion. With the new action taken, they were able to know that in the country there are 1,532 causes with this label, and that until a few weeks ago, already they achieved the liberation of 9 women who were imprisoned.

Your representative at the national level, Rosana Fanjul, He told this medium that in the case of Salta “it has not been possible to achieve a review of the causes.” He stressed that “it is not an easy path”, and that the first step to be able to act is to have the consent of the detained person. And with this premise is that they found cases where the accused women did not want to receive counseling for declaring themselves against the right to abortion.

Despite this, from Libres we love them, they argue that the demand is not on women, but on the State itself. Fanjul pointed out that when the law came into force, which came into force on January 24, 2021, all causes related to abortion should have been immediately reviewed and dropped.. “The State should have taken care to review these causes,” he reiterated.

He said that “from the campaign we transmitted (to the national government) the information collected in the report, but it was not acted upon,” said its member, adding that “we had meetings, but concrete actions, none.” That is why they work with interdisciplinary teams in a “traditional way”, as they define it, where they review each of the cases, managing to “influence” different causes.

He also said that it is not so difficult to review the judicial cases of women, who occupy only 4% of the entire prison population of the country. For this reason, they are asking that “all the prisoners for abortion and obstetric events be released with domiciliary, and thus be able to review their causes in freedom.” He argued that “there is only punishment” because food can not even be guaranteed in prisons, medical attention, or workshops that give a job opportunity.

In this sense, Fanjul affirmed that although feminism has demonstrated in recent years a decision-making power on the public agenda; “We are not parastatals and the State must take responsibility and guarantee the rights of the people”. At present, the balance of Free we want them, there are 9 releases obtained from the 1532 causes registered throughout the country.

With all this journey, is that the militant for legal abortion also affirmed that “the judicial system is not in favor of women’s rights”, since in many of the cases they have dealt with, they knew that women did not even count with an official defender. In addition to the fact that all the criminalized women were in a situation of vulnerability or poverty.

“There is cruelty towards the poor and there is something specific with detained women”, since the causes “do not move according to what really happens in them”, but in some cases the lawyers make resolutions that are closely linked to what is happening in them. ruled by the press, in order to continue the criminalization.

These situations are characterized as “punishment device”, which refers to a network that is established between discourses, state institutions such as the police and the judiciary, the media, medical-scientific institutions, security forces, regulatory decisions, laws, administrative measures, moral positions, “which together produce effects of punishment and stigmatization of the accused “.

“This network creates a rationality, produces forms of subjectivity, is inscribed in the subjects and guides their practices”said the report “The criminalization of abortion and other obstetric events in Argentina”, prepared by the National Campaign for the Right to Legal, Safe and Free Abortion; the Center for Legal and Social Studies (CELS); and the San Martín University Center (Cusam).

For this reason, Fanjul said that the liberation of women is not the last step of the new campaign because the vast majority of them “have to rebuild their lives after months or years of being detained.” As an example, it happened that after a woman obtained her release, she returned to her home and found that it had been looted.

“It is not only freeing them but also containing them as companions, until they can rebuild their affections or families if they have it because many are in a total state of abandonment or with their children”, he expressed. Questioning that in these situations there were no effective responses from the municipal, provincial or national governments. “It is a rather crude task,” she described, going so far as to say that many women do not have enough for their daily food.

Prior to these punishment devices, the report also pointed out that the main ways in which causes are initiated are by violation of the duty of confidentiality by health professionals or by the complaint from close associates or the woman herself.

“It flared up”

Fanjul also said that the criminalization of abortion “increased more than it had before the enactment of the law.” He argued that this was due to the actions of conservative sectors “that were handled in a more hostile way”, before those who ask for the guarantee of the legal or voluntary interruption of pregnancy (ILE / IVE)). Emphasizing that in the case of the ILE, it is a right already conquered 100 years ago in Argentina.

Against this background is that they work together with the Network of health professionals for the right to decide. He pointed out that the Church continues to be a determining factor in certain places because “they want to establish the illegality of the ILE / IVE.” A case of it, is what happened with the doctor Miranda ruiz, who is facing a criminal case in Tartagal after practicing an ILE on a 21-year-old woman.

In this sense, the lawyer Kiriaco said that it is important “to continue raising awareness”, since the doctor “was denounced for doing something that is allowed.” He pointed out that said education should have as main recipients the health providers, members of the judicial system and legislators.

It included the latter because in the specific case of the doctor, the deputies’ anti-right counteroffensive was seen Andrés Suriani and Cristina Fiore; and the councilor of Salvador Mazza, Claudia Subelza, which “subverted order because they ignored a current law,” in Kiriaco’s words. “Those who most need to be trained are the legislators who must know and respect the laws”, he pointed.

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