The recent inauguration of the ultra-right-wing Argentinian President Javier Milei is a stark reminder of the fragility of our rights to our own bodies.
Within a week of taking office, the self-described libertarian, who is openly anti-abortion and sexist, slashed the number of government ministries in half and delivered on his promise to eliminate the Ministry of Women, Gender and Diversity in the name of austerity. Although Milei's definitive plan for the newly formed and arbitrarily named ‘Ministry of Human Capital’ is not yet known, his famous phrase "there is no money" is a clear signal that sexual and reproductive health, rights and justice will not be on the agenda.
Milei has said so himself: he has vowed to hold a plebiscite on whether to repeal the country’s 2020 landmark legislation of abortion, has attacked the 2006 law which recognizes’ students’ right to comprehensive sexuality education, routinely portrays LGBTIQ+ people as a menace to Argentinian society and denies the existence of the gender gap.
But the need for a robust and well-funded public health service in Argentina, one that provides integrated sexual and reproductive healthcare services, is of vital public interest.