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Interview with Gioconda Mota: The Fight for Abortion in Venezuela

According to results from the latest poll by GIS XXI, titled ‘Sociology of preferences’, 87% of those consulted, 2000 people, are against teenage abortion.

These results became the basis of an article published in Diario Panorama (footnote 2) against the legalisation of free and voluntary abortion. The article collects a range of opinions through information networks and “representatives’ elected by the people.

Through the National System of Public Media, (SNMP) Venezuelan women are made visible through campaigns such as ‘To the heat of faith’, while the fight for their right to health and to life receives less space on the screen.

Although it is fair to say that a campaign was recently begun towards the prevention of teenage pregnancy, that doesn’t mean that they support the legalisation of free and voluntary abortion, just the opposite, some distinguished spokespeople operate against this socialist struggle.

For Gioconda Mota (footnote 1), teacher and director of the only feminist program broadcast on SNMP, the question raised by the GISXX survey was directed to what is most sensitive in society.

Moto believes that in a certain way, the survey “forces people into a certain position - do you think this problem is solved by abortion?’ And obviously the answer was no”.

But free and voluntary abortion is least common amongst teenagers, something proven by studies carried out in the Mexican capital where abortion is legal.

“For those of us who promote its legalisation, abortion is NOT a contraceptive method,” said Giocanda Mota, explaining that the possibility of unwanted pregnancies is huge and that “they are going to keep occurring”.

“Unwanted pregnancies aren’t just a product of rapes, but also of the irresponsible use of contraceptives, the correct use of contraceptive methods, as well as from situations of interfamily sexual abuse. More than 90% of rapes occur within the family, something that no one talks about.”
The fight for the legalisation of abortion is a “topic for the global agenda for feminists and Venezuela doesn’t escape this debate”. There are various considerations around the discussion over legalisation of abortion in the country of the Bolivarian revolution.

From the National Assembly, (AN) rightwing legislators Miguel Pizarro (Podemos party) and Dinorah Figuera (Primero Justicia party) declared their rejection of abortion to Panorama, and their intention to find out about and fully punish allegedly illegal the Safe Information Abortion Line (0426 1169496). That isn’t surprising.

The really surprising thing is that two legislators from the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), Henry Ventura and Zulay Martinez, agreed ideologically with Podemos and Primero Justicia in condemning feminist struggles for the right to decide about our bodies and prevent maternal deaths as a result of unsafe abortions, citing abortion as unethical, immoral, and illegal. Secret abortions have increased to 30% of the cases of maternal mortality in Venezuela.MORE


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