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Argentina Senate Hangs Tough for LIFE; Defeats Bill to Legalize Abortion

Calvin Freiburger : Aug 10, 2018 : LifeSiteNews.com

...Despite the relief felt by pro-life advocates today, the closeness of the votes in both chambers suggests the right to life is far from secure.

(Buenos Aires)— [LifeSiteNews.com] The Senate of Argentina voted Thursday to reject a bill that would have erased the country's constitutional protection for most pre-born babies and legalize abortion during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. (Photo: Argentina March for Life/Credit: Caravel Producciones/Youtube screen-grab/via LifeSiteNews)

The bill would have also legalized late-term abortions in cases of fetal deformity or to protect mothers' "psychological" health. The Catholic nation currently allows abortions only for rape or threats to a mother's life.

The Argentinian Senate gave its preliminary approval to the bill's finalized text last week. Just days before the final vote, Senator Silvina García Larraburu withdrew her support for the bill, citing her "most intimate convictions." Thirty-eight senators ultimately voted against the bill and 31 in favor, CNN reports, with two abstentions and one absentee.

The Senate was the final step deciding the fate of Argentina's abortion laws. The country's chamber of deputies approved the legislation by a 129-123 vote in June, and Argentinian President Mauricio Macri said he would follow whatever decision the legislature made, despite claiming to be pro-life.

Argentina would have been the third Latin American country to make abortion generally legal, Reuters reports, after Cuba and Uruguay.

Wednesday's vote followed a contentious public debate both domestically and worldwide, with more than 3 million Argentinians marching to protest repeal and international "human rights" watchdogs such as Amnesty International and the World Bank pressuring Argentina for protecting the rights of pre-born humans. Polls showed the public narrowly divided on the question in the run-up to the vote.

The pro-life demonstrators included hundreds of doctors, some of whom waved signs declaring "I'm a doctor, not a murderer" and laid down white medical coats outside of the presidential palace to affirm that abortion is incompatible with their chosen profession. Argentina's Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics Societies noted that it wasn't consulted on the bill, and expressed concern that doctors who refuse to commit abortions would have been penalized.

Yahoo News reported that the bill's language "provides for conscientious objection for practitioners," though others remain wary because hospitals as a whole received no such guarantee. Doctors also fear that the requirement that abortion requests be fulfilled within five days could further punish doctors with reservations about particular cases, or even willing providers who can't find an abortionist that quickly.

Pro-abortion activists, meanwhile, donned green scarves and brandished brooms, with one Argentinian game programmer even releasing an unofficial mod for the computer game Doom that replaces a monster the player shoots to death with a giant cardboard fetus model used by pro-lifers...

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