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Self-care for abortion activists and providers: lessons of law and risk from Argentina
  1. Raquel Irene Drovetta1,2,
  2. Cordelia Freeman3,
  3. Agustina Rúa4
  1. 1 Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas y Tecnicas (CONICET), Buenos Aires, Argentina
  2. 2 Instituto Académico Pedagógico de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad Nacional de Villa Maria, Villa Maria, Argentina
  3. 3 Department of Geography, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK
  4. 4 CONICET Córdoba, Córdoba, Argentina
  1. Correspondence to Dr Cordelia Freeman, Department of Geography, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK; c.freeman{at}

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In 2022, the Argentinean organisation Socorristas en Red celebrated its tenth anniversary. This celebration reaffirmed the group’s commitment to safe abortion across Argentina, to providing information on safe abortions, and to supporting the termination of pregnancies for those who request it.1 2 The Socorristas’ activism and provision of abortion care therefore precedes Law 27.610, which in December 2020 legalised voluntary abortion up to 14 weeks of gestation, by a decade.

The arrest of four Socorristas from Villa Maria, Córdoba on 21 December 2022 was therefore a shock. Following an anonymous complaint and investigation (which remains classified) for the “illegal practice of medicine”, the Public Prosecutor’s Office took action.3 They ordered the raid of the homes of activists and people close to them, the immediate arrest of two activists and a doctor accused of ‘concealment’, and a request for the arrest of two other Socorristas who were abroad. The reaction of the feminist movement was immediate: numerous social organisations, public officials, academics and even the Ministries of Justice and of Women, Genders and Diversity expressed their concern and called for the activists’ release. Ayelén Mazzini, Argentina’s Minister for Women, Genders and Diversity, declared the Socorristas’ actions “could not be defined as criminal, since they are legal and socially valuable actions tied to the promotion of reproductive health and the accompaniment of legal abortions”.4 After the legal filing and spending Christmas in …

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  • Twitter @RaquelDrovetta, @cordyf

  • Contributors CF conceptualised the editorial and developed the argument with AR and RID. AR, RID and CF all participated in writing the text and sourcing literature. CF translated Spanish into English. AR, RID and CF all approved the final draft of the manuscript. CF submitted the editorial.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.