December 31, 2020

ARGENTINA: Argentina Becomes The First Major Latin American Country To Legalise Abortion. The New Law Allows Termination Of LIFE Up To 14 Weeks Of Pregnancy.
written by Associated Press
Wednesday December 30, 2020

Argentina's Senate passed a law legalizing elective abortion in Pope Francis' homeland early Wednesday after a marathon 12-hour session, a victory for the women's movement that has been fighting for the right for decades.

The vote means that abortion will be legalized up to the 14th week of pregnancy, and also will be legal after that time in cases of rape or danger to the mother's life. It will have repercussions across a continent where the procedure is largely illegal.

The measure, which passed 38-29 with one abstention, was already approved by Argentina's Chamber of Deputies and had the support of President Alberto Fernández, meaning the Senate vote was its final hurdle.

"Safe, legal and free abortion is now the law," Fernández tweeted after the vote, noting that it had been an election pledge.

"Today, we are a better society that expands women's rights and guarantees public health," he added.

Argentina is the largest Latin American country to legalize abortion and the vote was being closely watched. With the exceptions of Uruguay, Cuba, Mexico City, Mexico's Oaxaca state, the Antilles and French Guiana, abortion remains largely illegal across the region.

Outside the Senate, pro- and anti-abortion rights activists gathered, with the bill's supporters wearing the color green that represents their abortion rights movement. Backers waved green flags as Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who presided over the debate, announced the result, shouting "legal abortion in the hospital!" as the measure was passed.

Argentina until now has penalized women and those who help them abort. The only exceptions were cases involving rape or a risk to the health of the mother, and activists complain even these exceptions are not respected in some provinces.

Before the vote, the Roman Catholic bishop's conference had denounced what it called a "feverish obsession to install abortion."

Just hours before the Senate session began Tuesday, the pope weighed in, tweeting: "The Son of God was born an outcast, in order to tell us that every outcast is a child of God. He came into the world as each child comes into the world, weak and vulnerable, so that we can learn to accept our weaknesses with tender love."

Following the vote, the bishops issued a statement saying the measure "will deepen even further the divisions in our country" and said it lamented that the country's leadership was distant from the dominant pro-life sentiment across the nation.

The group Pro-Life Unity said the date would be remembered "as one of the most macabre days in recent history."

A previous abortion bill was voted down by Argentine lawmakers in 2018, but this time it was backed by the center-left government. The outcome, however, had still been considered uncertain. That was partly due to the fact that the political parties, including the governing Peronist movement, gave their legislators freedom to vote as they chose. Two of the 72 senators were absent, and 43 of the remaining 70 senators were men.

Argentina's feminist movement has been demanding legal abortion for more than 30 years and activists say the bill's approval could mark a watershed in Latin America, where the Roman Catholic Church's influence has long dominated.

Amnesty International celebrated the vote as "an inspiration for other countries in the region and the world to advance in recognizing access to legal and safe abortion."

Also outside the legislature, a group that calls its members "defenders of the two lives" set up an altar with a crucifix under a blue tent.

Opponents of the bill, separated by a barrier from its backers, watched glumly as the vote unfolded.

"These politicians aren't representing the majority," said opponent Luciana Prat, an Argentine flag covering her shoulders. "In all the polls, people are against this."

Supporters said the bill seeks to eradicate the clandestine abortions that have caused more than 3,000 deaths in the country since 1983, according to figures from authorities.

In addition to allowing abortion within the first 14 weeks of pregnancy, the legislation allows earlier termination of a pregnancy if it was the result of rape or if the person's life or health is in danger.

It will allow conscientious refusal to participate in an abortion for health professionals and private medical institutions at which all doctors are against the procedure. But they will be required to refer the woman to another medical center. Conscientious objection also could not be claimed if a pregnant woman's life or health was in danger.
written by Nancy Flanders
Friday December 4, 2020

Argentina’s health minister Dr. Ginés González García has been drawing attention over his recent wholly unscientific comments regarding human life in the womb, calling into question his status as both the country’s health minister and as a doctor. Currently in the country, President Alberto Fernández is pushing to legalize abortion by year’s end, and this is the context in which Health Minister García’s remarks were made. During testimony on December 1 to the Committee on General and Criminal Legislation, Women, Diversity, Social Action, and Public Health, García told pro-life Congresswoman Dina Rezinovsky with regard to abortion (emphasis added):
Here there are not two lives as some say. Here it is clearly just one life and the other is a phenomenon … it is one person and the other is a phenomenon … I repeat, that it seems to me that [the language] is not used properly … if it were not, we would be witnessing the greatest universal genocide.
To call a preborn human being a “phenomenon” is based in fantasy, not in scientific reality. The word “phenomenon” is defined as “a fact or situation that is observed to exist or happen, especially one whose cause or explanation is in question.” Human embryos are not created by a questionable cause or explanation. We know exactly how children are created, and scientific evidence undoubtedly states that every child at fertilization is a unique human with his or her own unique DNA.

Pro-life activist Mariana Rodríguez Varela told Church Militant it was “overwhelming to hear a physician describe a baby inside a mother as a ‘phenomenon.’ This proves that what is next for them is to deny reality. We affirm that what is at stake is a child, and they know that it means murdering a person.”

González García — along with every other person who understands science and biology — knows that a human embryo or fetus is not a “phenomenon” but a member of the human family. But in order for abortion to be legal, the language used to promote it has to be precise and dehumanizing. González García said it himself: if abortion advocates admit that human embryos and fetuses are human beings, “we would be witnessing the greatest universal genocide.” That is why they so adamantly deny the humanity of preborn children and use dehumanizing language so that people will believe the propaganda that preborn children are mere cells or tissue. In fact, they are genetically distinct human beings.

“[González García] affirmed what we have been saying for the longest time,” said Rodríguez Varela. “That abortion is the worst genocide in history. In attempting to mock [pro-lifers], he said the truth.”
UPDATE 12/31/20 at 2:43pm: Added info below.

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