Tribute from LatAm artists

Chabuca Granda, was an acclaimed Peruvian singer and composer. She created and interpreted a vast number of Criollo waltzes with Afro-Peruvian rhythms.

Below artist from Iberoamerica sing this beautiful song in her honour.

Granda’s song “La Flor de la Canela” has become an anthem for the city of Lima, Peru.


Pro Life and Pro Choice debate heats up

The waters are stirred in the debate on 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  became 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.

‘Morally, I have always opposed to the idea of ​​deciding on the lives of others and I never agreed with  “It’s my body, I do what I want” mantra. If abortion is the product of carelessness, it is always regrettable. I’m not saying it from a pedestal, I chose to end two pregnancies (…) fortunately I did it in the UK, so I didn’t have to feel worse about walking into a clandestine clinic and putting my life at risk or fearing arrest’  Romina. More here

‘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. I also think women should be properly informed about the possibility of giving their babies up for adoption, where there are couples waiting for years due to a  bureaucratic judicial regime.’ Valeria. More here

‘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.’ Julieta. More here

‘(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.’ Cecilia. More here

‘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.’ Flor. More here

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

Pro Choice 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.

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.



Female voices on reproductive rights

This blog includes the full statements of all contributors of the main blog post Pro Life and Pro Choice debate heats up 

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. 

Hi everyone, I’m Romina. Morally, I have always opposed to the idea of ​​deciding on the lives of others and I never agreed with ”it is my body, I do what I want” mantra.

In cases where there was violence or medical conditions it is very clear to me. I recently had to terminate a pregnancy (much desired) because my baby suffered from Edward’s Syndrome and I don’t think anyone expects a mother to have a child to see it die in months?

For the other cases I think there are no morally ethical options. “If abortion is the product of carelessness, it is always unfortunate.” I am not saying this from a pedestal, years ago I myself chose to end a pregnancy because the minimum conditions were not met. It was the worst of evils, but it was still wrong. I remember watching on Youtube how a 14 week old ‘fetus’ was and it was clearly a baby, a life that I had decided to end. I did not want to bring into the world a child without maturity, family or economic solvency. I don’t regret it, but I remember crying in bed for weeks.

Luckily I did it in the UK, so I didn’t have to feel worse about walking into a clandestine clinic and putting my life at risk or fearing that the police would arrest me.

The situation in Latin America has to change urgently. Based on the Argentine experience, I hope that the new laws that are approved do not normalise this practice as a simple procedure. It is important to take the time to think about all the options and when there are couples I think that the man’s opinion is very important too. After all, if we decide to have him, we demand commitment, so I wonder if it is fair that the woman has the last word, in every situation. 

I think it should legitimise the woman’s (or couple’s) right to choose, although personally I would put a limit on the number of interventions allowed so as not to discourage prevention.

My final words are advice to those women who decide to have an abortion in the UK based on my past experience. I suspect that to save costs they are ‘incentivising’ women to go for the ‘chemical option’ which involves only taking medication. With all the women I talk about this experience, they had a very bad time. My pregnancy was very advanced and they gave me medication before the operation and I had a horrible time. They didn’t let my partner in either, until they saw me so badly that they let him in because I made a scandal. This should not be the case, it is a physically and emotionally painful process, so I recommend contacting the clinic in advance to clarify these issues before the day of the intervention.

I am Julieta,  local coordinator and part of the National Network of Support for Women with Vulnerable Pregnancies in Argentina. When we talk about abortion, it is very important to know what is in the womb, when human life begins. The biological fact is that human life begins at fertilisation. This is not a matter of opinion, nor of religion: it is what science has shown. The embryo IS in the mother’s body, but it IS not her body. It has its own DNA code from the get-go. It has its own heart that beats from 17 days after conception at its own pace. Abortion is deliberately ending that human life. If science has established that the embryo is a human being, then it should be considered a subject of rights, regardless of the circumstances in which it was conceived. Life is the first of rights, since without it, no other right is possible. This is recognised by many international treaties. For ex. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights establishes that “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and the security of his person” (art 3). The American Convention on Human Rights clarifies that “a person is every human being” (art 1 inc.2). And that “Every person has the right to have his life respected. This right will be protected by law and, in general, from the moment of conception. No one can be arbitrarily deprived of life” (Art. 4, sub. 1). The State, then, has the obligation to ensure the right to life of all human beings, including the weakest, the unborn.

Many argue legal abortion is safe. The truth is that the only sure thing is that a son dies. The second victim is the mother, since, legal or illegal, it brings serious physical and psychological consequences. There is a danger of infection, haemorrhage, ablation of the uterus, and death. Here in Argentina we already have several cases, such as Keila Jones (Chubut) or María del Valle González López (Mendoza).

In addition, the promoters of abortion never mention the psychological damage caused by induced abortion. Anxiety, depression, addictions, self-injury, etc., are some of the symptoms that appear in the short or long term, in many women who have gone through it. These consequences, of which I am a witness, have been extensively studied in countries where abortion is already legal, and have even been recognised by the American Psychological Association. (The Impact of Abortion on Women’s Mental Health, 2008).

On the other hand, in countries like ours (with a high rate of poverty), when abortion becomes legal, it becomes the only solution offered to women who are going through a bad economic or family situation. Instead of solving the real problem (unemployment, marginalisation, domestic violence, etc.) she is offered an abortion, but they return to the same situation they were in, adding a new one to all their wounds: that of eliminating their own son. 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.

Let’s also take into account what the experience in other countries shows us: by legalising abortion, it increases exponentially, even being used as another method of contraception. That is, a human being is eliminated simply because it bothers. There are many reasons that I cannot put here due to lack of space. Even in cases as difficult as rape, the unborn child is still another innocent victim who must also be defended.

In conclusion, the law cannot support or promote a practice that causes not only the death of an innocent human being but also physical and psychological damage to women and their environment. There are other exits. More difficult and expensive, but more humane. We advocate for the material, psychological, medical and emotional accompaniment of these mothers, so that they can carry their pregnancy to a successful conclusion, heal their emotional wounds and can raise their child, and if this is not possible, that they have the possibility of giving it up for adoption.

Hello! I am Flor. I grew up in a Christian family, so I went to a convent school. Whether you like it or not, religion indoctrinates you a bit, about “what is right and what is wrong”, but my rebellious spirit led me, over time, to move away from the church. I had and have incredible family support. Friends that I keep from school who are the family I chose. I had the opportunity to study what I wanted and travel the world, which gave me perspectives and teachings that made me the woman I am today.

I never had an abortion, nor did I have the emotional or physical need to carry it out. My first (conscious) pregnancy was the product of a 4-month relationship. He was not wanted but he was already 32 years old, had a secure job, his own roof and iron human support. I never doubted having León, who is now 4 years old, alone or accompanied. I was lucky that León’s father felt the same uncertainty and emotion that I did, and since we felt super in love (with our scarce 4 months together) we carried out the pregnancy, with a lot of love. Today we also have Jasmine, who is 2 years old. My story has all positive overtones, like that of a Disney movie. But the reality is not only the one I lived, the context in which other women live is not the same as mine, so I understand that the decisions that other people feel they have to make are different from the ones I have made in my life .

In 2011 I started a social assistance NGO, and since then I have been a volunteer in provinces such as Chaco and Misiones, in Argentina, and also in India, Cambodia and Mozambique. The experiences and experiences that I have had have shaped my beliefs, thoughts and emotions. I am for and against abortion. I believe that there are valid arguments in both positions, and I think it is important to be open to debate. I never had any doubts about the legality of abortion in cases of rape, disability, lack of education and low resources, even in pregnancies at risk for both the mother and the baby (I will call them type A pregnancies from now on). On the other hand, the legality of abortion for educated and upper-middle class women who, due to lack of care, get pregnant and then decide to have an abortion (I’ll call them type B pregnancies) always made me noisy. Without raising an accusing finger, I simply confess that I find it difficult to take lightly this topic, because these are women with whom I can identify in terms of education and social class, so I immediately believe that they have many more tools to avoid pregnancy than wanted.

That said, there are variables that differentiate me from other women who share my level of education and social class, and cause them to act very differently and make decisions that are far from mine –emotional support, personality, experiences-. This also has an impact on their actions. I understand it, that’s why I think the law should exist, but with regulations and sections that evaluate each particular case, because all cases are different. The abortion law must not only contemplate the action of aborting, but also take into account a time before and after the action itself. I believe that when a woman requests an abortion, she should have access to a therapist and the doctor in charge of carrying it out, who can offer her support and containment -before, during and after-, as well as information that covers all the possible variables that exist, that is, that the woman knows all the options she has – carry out the pregnancy, have a child, give the baby up for adoption, abort – that she has time to evaluate them and then make a decision. And that they understand that this decision entails a responsibility, to become aware of their actions and avoid repeating it in the future. There is another point that questions my position in favour. When does the fetus/baby become aware and feel pain inside the woman’s body? 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). Always talking about cases of type B pregnancies, which are the ones that test my pro-abortion loyalty.

In certain cases, there are arguments that seem poor to me, for example “it’s my body, I decide”. I feel that it is not enough nor is it real, because within that body there is another that cannot decide, and that unlike those who support that argument, I consider that this fetus is a life. That is why I think it is extremely important that my doubt in the previous paragraph be clarified. Abortion cannot only be a right, it must carry a responsibility. It should not be clandestine, but neither should it be a simple procedure. And I don’t think that in all cases it should be paid for by society (type B pregnancies).

The debate is just beginning. 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.

Hi ! I am Cecilia. My position in relation to the legalisation of the voluntary interruption of pregnancy  in Argentina, was and is in favour of it.
For many years it was a struggle carried out by many people, mostly women, to bring these practice out of hiding.
I believe that when we talk about legal, safe and free abortion it is about understanding and accepting that the person who has decided to interrupt her pregnancy will do so in any way, legally or clandestinely.

Clandestine means an enormous risk, especially for people from the most vulnerable social classes who, due to lack of resources, carry out the interruption of pregnancy at home, or by going to a clandestine centre, without any security, hygiene, or control. . These interventions often end in infections or haemorrhages, which if not treated in time, are fatal. Not only are both lives not saved, but both are lost.

One thing that always caught my attention is that, until a year ago when voluntary abortion was illegal, there was the ILE (legal interruption of pregnancy) which established that if the life of the mother was at risk or if it had been the product of a rape, abortion could be performed safely in a hospital. There I had certain questions and reflections about it. Was an embryo produced by rape different from one produced by a consensual and joyous sexual relationship? Would it be then that what is penalised was having become pregnant enjoying? “If you enjoyed it, now tease yourself! Carry a pregnancy even if it is not the best for you, even if you cannot or do not want to care for and raise a baby, even if you had decided not to have children, not to put the body for a gestation and childbirth at that time or perhaps never in your life. ”

Hello everyone, I am Valeria. Many times one thinks that it is very difficult to give an opinion on a subject without going through that experience, but abortion is something that makes me very sensitive, I always thought that we have to bet on life and I think that the birth of a child is the most wonderful What can happen to both a man and a woman is a unique act, which is why I think that before making this decision to have an abortion, the issue must be addressed by professionals who accompany the couple or the woman who makes the decision.

Many times I listened to my 14-year-old son when talking about this topic, saying that women are free to decide with their bodies what they want in this feminist culture that currently wants to impose itself, but let’s not forget that there is a life that doesn’t have the possibility of deciding to be born and that is very sad. Also maybe a man that cannot decide to raise him alone either and loses the right to be a father because the only one who has this right is the woman. I also think women should be properly informed about the possibility of giving their babies up for adoption, where there are couples waiting years due to a totally bureaucratic judicial regime.