In first step Judge in San Luis Province declares Argentina law legalizing elective abortions unconstitutional

Ultimately judge’s decision must be upheld by Supreme Court of Argentina

By Dave Andrusko

The Catholic News Agency reported yesterday that on March 18, Judge María Eugenia Bona, a provincial judge in Argentina, “declared the law legalizing elective abortion in the country unconstitutional.” However, “The ruling applies to the [San Luis] province, and must be ratified by higher courts.”

As Giselle Vargas explained, “Elective abortion was legalized in Argentina Dec. 30, 2020. Previously, Argentine law allowed abortion in cases when the mother’s life or health was in danger, or in cases of rape.” Vargas added, “The abortion law was an electoral promise by president Alberto Fernández, whose bill was debated in less than a month in both houses of Congress” [https://www.nationalrighttolifenews.org/2021/02/argentina-judge-blocks-new-abortion-law-from-taking-effect-in-northern-province].

Judge Bona was responding to a suit brought by former senator Liliana Negre who (Vargas reported) “had filed for an injunction against San Luis Province to end ‘the state of uncertainty’ caused by the contradiction between articles contained in the abortion law and the Civil and Commercial Code.”

The judge declared Article 19 of the Civil and Commercial Code, which recognizes the “existence of the human person from conception”, fully to be in force.

On this basis, she also declared unconstitutional several articles of Argentina’s abortion law, which permit elective abortion up to the fourteenth week of gestation, speak of the right to decide on abortion, of abortion care “in the services of the health system”; and about “post-abortion care in the services of the health system, without prejudice to the fact that the decision to abort would have been contrary to the cases legally authorized in accordance with this law.”

The judgement is in accordance with what is described in the Vienna Convention, the Human Rights Convention or the Pact of San José of Costa Rica; the National Constitution, and the Constitution of the Province of San Luis.

Bona noted that the law for the comprehensive protection of children and adolescents “gives precedence to the right of the child, in the face of a conflict.”

However, as Negre explained to ACI Prensa, “abortions will continue to be procured in the province as long as the sentence is not ratified. For this, she must go through several judicial instances until reaching the Supreme Court of Argentina,” Vargas explained.