Stacey Abrams Discusses Voter Suppression & Argentina Decriminalizes Abortion
Stacey Abrams Discusses Voter Suppression And How It Has Affected Her In Political Races
In the 2020 election, 5 million Georgians voted, nearly 1 million more than in the 2016 election. In the traditionally red states, president elect Joe Biden led by more than 12,000 votes over Donald Trump.
Stacey Abrams is an American politician, lawyer, voting rights activist, and author who served as a Georgia representative in the House of Representatives from 2007 to 2017, serving as a minority leader from 2011 to 2017. Abrams’ passion since she was 17 has been fighting against voter suppression. In December, Abrams’ speech in which she responded to President Trump’s state of the Union speech amassed significant attention. Following such speech, Abrams and the New Georgia Project helped register 800,000 new Georgia voters, specifically from communities of color.
In 2018, Abrams was endorsed by former president Barack Obama and campaigned for by Oprah Winfrey, when she decided to run for governor in Georgia. Before Abrams, the Republican-run state slashed almost 670,000 voters from its polls, the majority of those being black Americans. Coincidentally, the secretary of state overseeing this was Repubican Brian Kemp, who was Abrams’ opponent.
Abrams ran against Republican Brian Kemp, but lost by 55,000 votes. She did not take this loss easy, “I believe it was stolen from the voters,” she said. “I just said it can’t happen again. And that has been my mission for the last two years.”
Following this loss Abrams created another group called Fair Fight, whose aim is to diminish voter suppression in America. Fair Fight worked during this recent election to successfully increase voter turnout in twenty states. Abrams is hoping that the upcoming Georgia voters will be strong enough to elect the two Democrats, Jon Ossoff and Reverend Raphael Warnock. Abrams is very optimistic and hopes that people realize that their singular vote can change election outcomes.
As Abrams stated, “People will do almost anything when they know success is likely.”
Abortion is Decriminalized in Argentina
“Argentina would become only the fourth nation — and by far the most populous — to make abortion legal in Latin America, where strict abortion laws are the norm and Catholic teaching has long steered policy.” (New York Times)
Mr. Alberto Fernandez, Argentina’s president, created a bill that would allow abortions up to 14 weeks into pregnancy. Currently, abortion is only legal for rape-victims or those at risk of pregnancy complications. Even in these cases when abortion is legal, many doctors will not perform the termination in fear of facing legal trouble.
Many women and young girls become seriously ill or die because of complications with their pregnancies. They do not have a choice to terminate their pregnancy when necessary. On December 11th, 2020, Argentina’s congress passed a bill legalizing abortion, and the bill’s fate landed in the hands of a senate vote.
After twelve hours of discussion, the senate voted to legalize abortion on Wednesday, December 27th, 2020. The bill passed by incredible margins: 38 for, 29 against, and one abstention. The outcome of the bill, which was passed by congress, has resulted in feelings of relief and excitement for some, and disappointment for others. Protestors supporting the bill stood outside of the senate building holding green handkerchiefs as a symbol of freedom following the decriminilazation of abortions. Similarly, protesters against the bill stood outside of the senate building wearing light blue handkerchiefs to display their dismay with the updated law.
This is a huge step for women’s rights in Latin America. Without the support of President Fernandez this bill would never have been brought to congress. Hopefully Argentina will pave the way for other Latin American countries to legalize abortiation as well.