Pro Life and Pro Choice debate heats up

The waters are stirred in the debate for the reproductive rights of Latin American women.

For decades, politicians in Latin America knew that they would never pass a law that would have the support of the vast majority on an issue as controversial as the decriminalisation of abortion. Only Cuba and Uruguay advanced on this issue during the 20th century to the point that currently some countries in the region still penalise abortion in cases of rape.

Latin America has not remained oblivious to the feminist wave with two issues at the forefront of the protests, the decriminalisation of abortion and the fight against gender violence. The green scarves have spread beyond the borders of Argentina and are a symbol of the struggle for women’s reproductive rights in many parts of Latin America. Argentina has decriminalised abortion during the first 14 weeks of all types of pregnancy, and progress has been made in Mexico, Chile and Colombia.

But the path to decriminalisation faces resistance from pro-life movements, under the slogan “save two lives” and represented with light blue handkerchiefs. Views are increasingly polarised  and there have been additional restrictions in Brazil, Honduras and other Central American countries.

In addition to the pro-life movement, the Catholic Church (indirectly) added its position during the key days of the debate in Argentina.

Latin Hub UK is an independent platform, a group of volunteers with different opinions united by a vocation of service. The premise is to listen and respect all opinions and amplify the voices of those who are working in our community.

Our only enemies are individualism and indifference. That’s why we include different voices below for those who are open to learning and (perhaps) changing their position. At the end of the blog you can also find sources of information for those who want to learn more about the subject.

Romina

‘Morally, the idea of ​​deciding on the lives of others always made me noise and I never agreed with  the mantra ‘it’s my body, I do what I want’. If abortion is the product of carelessness, it is always unfortunate. I’m not saying it from a pedestal, I chose to end two pregnancies.’

Valeria

Let’s not forget that there is (…) a man who cannot decide to raise the kid alone and loses the right to be a father. Only women have have this right. There is  also  the possibility of giving the baby for adoption, where there are couples who wait years due to to a fully bureaucratic judicial regime.’

Flor 

‘I am for and against abortion. If a professional shows me that there is a period of time that confirms that until a certain week of gestation the baby does not feel physical or emotional pain, I would immediately lean in favour of abortion (until that week). There are ways to enrich the laws so they can be fair to everyone, but it takes time. And it is important that we respect the different positions and listen, because there is always something more to learn.’

Julieta 

‘The biological fact is that human life begins at fertilisation. This is not a matter of opinion, or religion: it is what science has shown. (…) Abortion thus becomes an instrument of discrimination and social eugenics: instead of fighting poverty, the poor are eliminated. We see this daily through the women we support. ‘

Cecilia 

(The legalisation of abortion) is a great advance for our society, which empowers pregnant women to be able to decide about their bodies and their lives, avoiding many deaths and traumatic situations resulting from illegal practices. The right to decide is based on a correct and clear sexual education, access to all contraceptive methods and, if necessary, the possibility of terminating a pregnancy safely and free of charge.’

More information

For those women who think that abortion should be prohibited in all cases, we recommend the case of Honduras covered by the BBC in this video.

Social networks play a strong role in the debate. 200 pro-life organizations in Hispanic America made a call to post messages on social media against abortion #NoHablenPorTodas #Primero la vida. Contrary content can be found in #Abortolegalya and #abortosi, on Instagram redperiofeministas.

For those women interested in feminist struggles in Latin America, I recommend visiting LatFem.

UnidadProvida is a network of more than 150 organisations that promotes the right to life of women and unborn children.

For those women who want to help, there is an organisation that accepts donations of thousands of flights to pay for trips by Brazilian women so that they can carry out the procedure safely outside the country. Listen to this podcast for more information about this organisation.

This blog intends to publish different views on a controversial topic, we are open to publishing more content as long as they contribute some new argument to those that have already been raised. Otherwise we invite you to comment at the end of the blog, the comments must be approved by the administrator of this page to ensure that respect and cordiality prevail above all.



Ethnic-led organisations discuss BAME

In March 2021, the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities recommended that the government stop using the term BAME and the government is currently considering its response to the Commission’s recommendations. This was one of the topics discussed in a focus group about Southwark Council grants funding & BME led community organisations. On the 11 of November 2021  members from a wide range of ethnic-led organisations discussed the use of the terminology BAME and whether a more appropriate and meaningful terminology can be used in applying for funding from Southwark Council.  The overwhelming majority agreed that BAME is a problematic terminology for a number of reasons but there was no consensus about a suitable alternative. Latin Hub argued that BAME is problematic mainly because it established hierarchies among the different community groups. However, in the context of funding, we don’t mind being ‘labelled’ as a way of recognising the specific barriers that we face as a community.  With regards to access to funding we argued that small grassroots organisations can be at a disadvantage because they ‘don’t know where to start’  and suggested that a tool kit explaining the funding streams available, eligibility criteria and calendar of application deadlines will level the playing field between the more experienced fundraisers and the smaller organisations.  Another  mentioned point is the lack of feedback that prevents unsuccessful applicants from improving their bid for the next round. Other Latin American organisations also that contributed to the debate were LAWRSVOADES and  AYMARA. The need for more co-fund opportunities was also stressed and we hope that we can work together in the future. Latin Hub UK welcomes this initiative from Community Southwark and looks forward to continuing to participate to push for change in the right direction.


Speak out on issues you care about!

Latin Hub UK is independent, non-profit initiative to support Latin Americans in the UK and promote our cultural heritage. Our website and social networks promote initiatives and talents of our community. You are all invited to participate to promote your ventures or write about a topic that interests you.

We are collecting ANONYMOUS information about Latin Americans in the UK and the challenges we face.

It is important to gather as many opinions as possible because this is how we can understand the needs of a large number of people in the community in order to campaign for concrete solutions.

Please donate 3-4 minutes of your day to complete this survey and we would be very grateful if you could forward it to other Latin Americans living in UK.


Latin Hub increasing visibility of latin americans

The Latin American community is one of the fastest growing in London making an essential contribution to how the city operates economically, socially and culturally. In her foreword to the report, Paulina Tamborrel, a Citizens UK community organiser from Mexico, said:

“They call us ‘the invisibles’, los invisibles. For all our colours, flavours and rhythms; Latin Americans would expect all before invisibility. We pride ourselves in our joy, musical spirits and loud voices. The grinding reality of being Latin American in the UK has made invisibility a new custom for our community, one that is hard to escape.”

Latin Hub UK is an independent, non-partisan, not-for-profit initiative to support Latin Americans in the UK and to promote our cultural heritage. Our website and social media channels aim to integrate all the dispersed activities by and for our community, creating a hub that strengthens our identity and contributes into a larger journey towards visibility and recognition of one of London’s fastest-growing yet least appreciated communities.

In line with these goals, on the 9th of October we exhibited our work in Southwark Heritage Centre & Library. 

 

During our last year we have gathered stories of courage and resilience from Latin American traders that have been affected by gentrification, covid and all the other barriers that the community faces.

On the ground floor we exhibited the beautiful paintings of Desire Noriega, which illustrated the spirit of our oral interviews. 

It was a great event that connected us with young Southwark residents also concerned with issues of gentrification as well as the wider community.

 

 

 

Art can be a great communicator, but we also accompanied the paintings with a synopsis of the story that inspired the artist, contextualised by the wider challenges that the Latin American community faces related to each story. We also included organisations where members of the community can seek support for a wider rage of issues, from domestic violence to work exploitation.

 

 

 

On the first floor we presented an audiovisual experience, all audio interviews were animated with painting videos combined into a short movie that presented all the trader stories in a series.  Visitors were able to experience first hand the moving stories of resilience and hope.

 

 

 

 

 At the end of the event, a local artist illustrated the day that we captured in the image video.   

 

A big thank you to all visitors who were so positive about our exhibition and project!


Serrat, Sabina and their love affair with Latin America

At the end of the 1960s the story begins, forced by Juan Manuel Serrat’s exile in Mexico. It was love at first sight between the singer-songwriter and our people and culture.

For those of us who grew up during the 70s, his songs have accompanied us since our first adolescent loves, and make us reflect on dilemmas that transcend borders, such as death and freedom. Mediterráneo was his emblematic first album, with which we learnt about Franco’s repressive Spain, its sea and its white villages, its youthful utopias.

Later came his own productions and also musicalisations of extraordinary Latin American poets. His work is influenced by other poets , Pablo Neruda (Chile), Eduardo Galeano y Mario Benedetti (Uruguay) The South also exists this is his nineteenth album dedicated to poems by the Uruguayan poet. He has also covered songs by Violeta Parra (Chile) , Atahualpa Yupanqui (Argentina) and from Victor Jara (Chile). Committed and critical of the dictatorships in Latin America, for which Pinochet denied him entry to Chile in 1983

Joaquin Sabina came to our continent later, following the path started by Serrat. He brought us the wildness and the excesses…and we love him for it. Just as we say that Juan Manuel brought poetry to music, Joaquin gave us spontaneity, rebelliousness and humour. Neither of them are noted for their vocal talent but Sabina can sing with the mariachis in Mexico or a tango in Buenos Aires with naturalness. The audience forgives those extra drinks on stage and turns a deaf ear to the noticeable passage of time that affects both their voices.

“19 days and 500 nights it’s still the song that most identifies Sabina, and it’s Noise is my favourite. My assumed fanaticism for Serra prevents me from choosing a song this compilation of songs and you will see that it is impossible to choose!

For some years now they have been performing together, giving concerts all over the continent, uniting music and friendship, between them and their audience The Symbol and the Cuate is a documentary that tells this love story between the artists and Latin America

We went to their concerts like to mass, with the same devotion, Serrat’s first concert in Argentina was unforgettable, after the dictatorship, with pure emotion we sang “para la libertad, sangro, lucho, pervivo”, with our eyes full of tears

We never felt them as foreigners, they are part of our recent history, in dark times,… we waited for his voice and words that accompanied and comforted us, when poetry guided the music and the music made us think. …..

Author: Angelines Yakin