Overturning legal abortion in Argentina not on agenda, Milei says

The president said that despite his ‘pro-life’ views, the issue wasn’t part of his campaign promises

President Javier Milei said that overturning legal abortion in Argentina is not part of his government’s agenda, despite his self-proclaimed “pro-life” views. 

“That wasn’t part of the campaign promises,” he said after being asked about the issue during a BBC interview that was published on Sunday.

“It’s not on the current agenda,” he added.

After a decades-long fight from feminist movements, Argentine Congress made abortions that take place until the 14th week legal in December 2020. Pregnancy interruptions are also legal regardless of how along they are when they are the result of rape or if the pregnant person’s health or life are at risk.

Ruling coalition La Libertad Avanza (LLA) didn’t exist when the vote was passed. Milei began his political career in 2021.

Although the president has stayed away from the topic since taking office, some members of his party have not. In February, while Congress was focused on negotiations regarding Milei’s omnibus bill and his massive economic deregulation presidential decree, LLA deputy Rocío Bonacci filed a proposal to overturn the abortion law. The text included prison time for those who carried out the abortion, even if that person was the pregnant person themselves.

The move caused tensions within the president’s party because the document included the signatures of other LLA deputies who claimed they hadn’t agreed to it. “They aren’t hand-written signatures; it just shows that other bloc members are accompanying this,” Bonacci later said, adding that she had discussed this over WhatsApp with some of them. The bill was never taken to a vote on the floor. 

Last week, the Supreme Court rejected two class actions aimed at declaring the law legalizing abortion unconstitutional. The Appeals Chamber had previously rejected the claim on the grounds that they “did not represent the interests of society in general.” 

The Supreme Court intervened following a complaint made by the plaintiffs and threw the case out for not complying with formal guidelines.

You may also be interested in: “The only option is to travel to Ushuaia”: women fight for abortion in this remote city

The situation regarding Malvinas sovereignty

During the BBC interview, Milei also spoke about Argentina’s sovereignty claims over the Malvinas Islands, saying that diplomatic discussions to reclaim them “will take time,” adding that the territory is now “in the United Kingdom’s hands.”

He added that negotiations have to be done peacefully and that they could take decades.

“We will not give up our sovereignty, but if it’s not the time to discuss it, we will do that some other time,” Milei said after the reporter asked him about the UK’s consistent rejection of any attempts to discuss the islands.

Milei denied that British Foreign Secretary David Cameron’s visit to Malvinas in February was a “provocation.” “That territory is currently in the United Kingdom’s hands. Therefore, he has every right to do so.”

During the interview, Milei also insisted on his admiration for the late former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who was in power during the Malvinas war. “There was a war, and we lost. That doesn’t mean one can’t think that those who were on the other side were good at their jobs,” he said.

“Not only do I admire Margaret Thatcher, but also Ronald Reagan from the U.S. And I profoundly admire Winston Churchill. So what?”

Editorial disclaimer

Although the UK refers to the territory as the “Falklands Islands,” Argentina strongly contests this name. The Buenos Aires Herald refers to the islands as the Malvinas Islands.


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