This Doctor Could Go to Prison for Refusing to Kill a 23-Week-Old Baby in an Abortion

International   Micaiah Bilger   May 17, 2019   |   4:05PM    Buenos Aires, Argentina

A doctor in Argentina is being prosecuted for saving an unborn baby from abortion.

In 2017, Dr. Leandro Rodríguez Lastra refused to abort a 1-pound, 23-week unborn baby when the mother came to the hospital after taking the abortion drug misoprostol, the Catholic News Agency reports. The woman said she became pregnant from rape.

Rodríguez, the head of the department of gynecology at the Pedro Moguillansky Hospital in Cipoletti, instead treated the woman and allowed her pregnancy to continue, according to the report. When she reached 35 weeks of pregnancy, she was induced and gave birth to the child — now almost two years old, the report continues. The child since has been adopted.

Because he refused to continue with the abortion, Rodríguez is on trial. Río Negro legislator Marta Milesi cited him for allegedly violating a law allowing abortions in cases of rape, according to the report.

The trial is going on this week, and many pro-life groups are speaking up on behalf of the doctor.

“It is obvious that the accusation made by provincial representative Marta Milesi, who is an abortion activist, seeks to intimidate doctors into doing abortions, even when these pregnancies are advanced,” pro-life organizations wrote in a letter to Judge Álvaro Meynet and Gov. Alberto Wereltineck.

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“Dr. Rodríguez Lastra fulfilled his duty and the Hippocratic Oath as a doctor, committed to the defense and care of life. We hope that justice will be done,” they wrote.

Among the groups advocating on the doctor’s behalf are CitizenGo Argentina, Lawyers for Life, Doctors for Life, the March for Life, Medical Students for Life and Independent Federal Women. They collected a petition with more than 50,000 signatures urging the judge to acquit Rodriguez, according to the report.