Argentine Artists Sing Version of ‘Bella Ciao’ for Abortion Rights

A group of well-known female artists recorded “Vamos Ya” to support legal abortion in Argentina, which goes to vote today (Aug. 8) after mass “Handmaid’s Tale”-inspired demonstrations.

This past May, as mass demonstrations calling for the decriminalization of abortion were held around Argentina, a group of well-known artists adapted the Italian resistance song “Bella Ciao” as a call for the right to choose. Hilda Lizarazu, known as half of the rock duo Man Ray and as a former vocalist with Charly Garcia’s band, singer and actress Gloría Carrá and singer Marilina Ross, as well as half a dozen other musicians, released a video of their song “Vamos Ya” (“Let’s Go Now”).  

“Today we fight for our bodies…we are here singing together for legal abortion,” proclaim the Spanish lyrics of the song set to the tune of “Bella Ciao,” a WWII Anti-Fascist anthem later recorded by Mercedes Sosa, Yves Montand and other artists. The song has lately become familiar to current audiences through the popular Spanish series “La Casa de Papel,” (“Money Heist”), which is now showing on Netflix.

On Wednesday, Aug. 8, the Argentine Senate will vote on a law decriminalizing abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. In advance of the historic abortion vote, protestors again crowded the streets, many dressed in The Handmaid’s Tale-inspired costumes; the red cloaks and bonnets which have recently become a symbol of feminist dissent around the world. Abortion opponents have demonstrated wearing blue bandanas that read “Save Both Lives.” A “Mass for Life” is planned in Buenos Aires Wednesday as government representatives debate the bill, according to CNN.

As the comments in the YouTube video for “Vamos Ya” attest, the clash between abortion activists and anti-abortion supporters over Argentina’s proposed Voluntary Termination of Pregnancy law supports is contentious.

Six abortion bills over 13 years have previously been presented to Congress in Argentina, where, according to Amnesty International, more than 3,000 women have died in the past 25 years as the result of unsafe procedures. The current legislation proposal was narrowly passed by the lower house of Congress in June. 

Watch the music video below.

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