27 August 2006

Abortion in Argentina

Mind you, you don't have to read/speak Spanish to fully enjoy this blog, but it helps. I like to comment on news, so you'll get many from online newspapers in Spanish. For example, this one:
El aborto en la Argentina es un tema de salud pública, from La Capital, Rosario's main local paper. It's about abortion, and how everybody's debating about it now because of two regrettable incidents. Abortion is illegal here, unless the mother is mentally handicapped (the law is a bit old and not politically correct, it says idiota o demente, i. e. "idiot/retarded or insane") and the pregnancy was the result of rape. Two cases of this kind took place recently. Both girls managed to get an abortion, though one almost didn't. In one case a prosecutor notified a judge about the upcoming procedure and the judge ordered it to be suspended, then to be overruled, and then the doctors caved in to pressure from religious sectors and refused to perform the abortion, claiming that the pregnancy was too advanced, and the procedure was done elsewhere. Her family had to look very hard for a doctor who was not afraid, and finally got the abortion paid for by a pro-choice organization in a private hospital, under strict secrecy, as if it were illegal. The other girl got a favourable ruling but had to wait for a doctor in a public hospital to perform the procedure for free.

The Catholic Church of Argentina was the primary force resisting the abortions (which were, I repeat, completely legal given the circumstances). Hospitals and doctors received harassment, then legal threats, then death threats and even a bomb threat (false alarm). The Episcopacy passed a document against the "culture of death". Now if you sincerely believe that human life is valuable, it's rather incoherent to threaten other people to death, isn't it? The Catholic Church doesn't exactly have the moral high ground in Argentina, with its history of collaborating with each and every dictatorship that has afflicted this country, including the last one, which kidnapped and killed 30,000 people, including pregnant mothers.

In a way, though, these horrible incidents might have helped to expose the true colours of a number of Church leaders, otherwise uncompromising politicians, and some op-ed journalists. They've made it perfectly clear that they feel their ideology is above the law, and that they'll do anything to keep it like that, even if it means forcing a poor lower-class mentally incapable girl to have a child against her will. And they've done it on the record, for everyone to see. What goes around...


  1. Than the "church" should financially support all the women and the children who find themselves in these situations, if they believe life is so valuable.

  2. Miss Tango, I've been told that the Church sells the unwanted babies onto people European countries keen to adopt, and the "business" is thriving.

  3. I wouldn't doubt that it is thriving! I know a couple who adopted 2 toddlers from Russia. It has probably cost them about $50,000 US per child, agency fees, legal documents, flights hotels etc...


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