Argentina’s president Javier Millay (far right) emphasized yesterday Wednesday during his speech to students that he considers abortion, legal in the country, “murder” and supporters of its decriminalization “murderers”.

The hardline liberal, 53, who was known to oppose abortion but had not spoken publicly on the issue since taking office three months ago, was addressing students at a Catholic school.

“I warn you, for me abortion is murder (…) and I can prove it to you, from a mathematical, philosophical and liberal point of view,” he declared, two days before Women’s Day. He added that those who supported its decriminalization in 2020 in the Latin American state are “murderers”.

After taking power, Mr. Millay proceeded to abolish the Ministry of Women, Gender and Diversity and announced the closure of the National Anti-Discrimination Institute (INADI). The president, who describes himself as an “anarcho-capitalist”, has repeatedly expressed his intention to close institutions and organizations that he considers “useless”.

His government last month banned the use of profanity in the military and has made clear its intention to eradicate it from the civil service.

During a speech at Davos in January, Javier Millay railed against “social justice”, “radical feminism” and the “bloody abortion agenda”.

The law on the artificial termination of pregnancy in Argentina was adopted in December 2020 and came into effect in January 2021, after a debate that polarized society. It provides for the possibility of abortion up to the 14th week of pregnancy, without the need to explain the reasons. It also provides for this possibility if the pregnancy is a consequence of rape, as well as if the life or health of the pregnant woman is at risk.

While abortion and women’s rights are being questioned in several countries, France on Monday became the first country to explicitly enshrine the artificial termination of pregnancy in its constitution, after parliament overwhelmingly approved the decision.