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The Fire is Ours: A Statement from Ni Una Menos

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Published on Tuesday, August 7. Translated by Liz Mason-Deese. 

We are already preparing, bodies are already burning in the middle of winter, we know who will be in the streets with us to defend our right to make decisions about our bodies and our lives. We know because we are organized, we know because our communitarian bonds have been strengthened each time we mobilized for #LegalAbortion, for #NiUnaMenos (Not One Woman Less), in each feminist strike. There will be millions of us, surrounding Congress, and in each town and city of our territory. And hundreds of thousands will join us from other places: feminist internationalism is a common force that crosses oceans, mountains, and deserts, and we know that our movement feeds the rebellious imagination in the whole world in increasingly oppressive times.

For us, women, men, and trans people, there has already been a collective triumph: we have brought our bodies, our abortions, and our desires out of hiding and we will not go back. During these months of debate, our voices have been amplified everywhere: from Congress to our homes, from schools to unions, from neighborhood organizations to campesino territories, and what we discussed was our autonomy. An autonomy that does not understand the body as private property but that recognizes the community web that all people rely on to be able to live and develop ourselves, to collectively care for each other. To exercise our right to liberated sexuality and to design the families that we want, when we want, with the people we want.

Parliament cannot ignore this popular, massive power in the streets without endangering the very idea of democracy. Life, liberty, desire, and the law are on our side. The Church, through its male spokesmen, proposes a new crusade against women and against all the identities that the patriarchy discredits or directly denies. Thus they seek to impose a new inquisition. We have seen their lobbying power in the political system, in the educational system, and among business and union leaders. We are not surprised. They even go so far as to boast of going to the Pope to argue that legal abortion would be the same as the Holocaust! They advance on a triple front: military, financial, and religious. That is, criminalization, indebtedness, and blame placed on our bodies and our territories. While legal abortion takes months of debate, militarization and indebtedness are decided by decree. And when we prepare to take the streets for our rights, power decides to completely barricade the public plaza: it is a provocation. That is why we scream again: take your rosaries out of our ovaries and get the military out of our territories.

The feminist movement calls on the political system to legislate in favor of the lives of women and all people with the capacity to gestate; the law for Legal, Safe, and Free Abortion does not force anyone to have an abortion. With 60% of public opinion in favor, 41 abortions carried out per hour according to official statistics, the streets of the world overflowing with solidarity with those of us who defend our right to life, how can they dare to leave the building and look millions of people in the face having voted against our rights and freedoms? If the law is not passed, we will not leave the streets, and they will not be able to leave the Congress building, because in the street Legal Abortion is already the law. We will not let ourselves be burned because this time the fire is ours.