Argentine Senate Rejects Bill to legalize Abortion through 14 weeks

By Dave Andrusko

In what even the New York Times described as a “stinging defeat,” the Argentine Senate today rejected a bill that would have legalized abortion on demand for the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. Abortion is currently allowed in case of rape or when the life or health of the woman is at risk.

Thirty-eight lawmakers voted against the bill, which had narrowly passed the Chamber of Deputies while 31 voted in favor. Two members abstained.

The Times, of course, immediately changed the focus on the story from the bill’s defeat to what the authors hoped it represented for the future, such as “But the country in recent years has inched away from a close church-state relationship.”

And, naturally, the ability to snuff out unborn children was cobbled together with genuinely progressive causes, so that we are told, “The Argentine campaign is credited with inspiring debate on a variety of women’s issues — including domestic violence…”

But Daniel Politi and Ernesto Londoño at least quoted one opponent:

María Curutchet, a 34-year-old lawyer with a blue handkerchief around her neck, had a wide smile on her face despite spending almost eight hours in the cold of winter to express her opposition to abortion.

“It was a very emotional day,” she said. “We were out in huge numbers and showed that we will defend the two lives, no matter the cost.”

And did note that

As soon as the voting result was announced, fireworks started going off on the anti-abortion side of the plaza outside the Congress building. Shortly after, a few protesters in support of abortion rights lit fires and threw rocks at the building and gathered police officers.

Before returning to criticism of the Catholic Church. The monotonously pro-abortion Guardian newspaper went after Pope Francis personally. (The Pontiff was born in Argentina.)

As recently as Friday it appeared the measure would pass. But as we wrote, the momentum shifted over the weekend when Senator Silvina García Larraburu said she had changed her mind and would vote against the bill. As Reuters reported

The about-face by brought to 37 the number of expected no votes, amounting to a majority in Argentina’s 72-member. Senate.

The background is critical to understanding the bigger picture. As the Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues previously explained

Pro-abortion mobilization had organized under the theme of a “green wave” with lawmakers and pro-abortion activists holding green scarves. The usual international pro-abortion NGOs were active in the lobby effort including IPPF, Human Rights Watch and ‘Catholics for Choice’.

Pro-abortion lawmakers made references to radical abortion recommendations from UN treaty bodies including the recent UN report by the Committee on the Rights of the Child which said that Argentine teenagers between the ages of 13 and 16 should have access to abortion. The report recommended the government provide “access to safe abortion services and postabortion care for adolescents, ensuring that their opinions are always heard and duly taken into account as part of the process of decision making.”