Coronavirus Crisis Stops Argentina President’s Bill to Legalize Killing Babies in Abortions

International   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Mar 26, 2020   |   5:50PM   |   Buenos Aires, Argentina

At least for now, unborn babies remain protected from abortion in Argentina.

Less than a month ago, President Alberto Fernández announced plans to introduce legislation to legalize abortion on demand throughout Argentina.

Then, the first Argentines tested positive for the coronavirus, and his plans came to a sudden halt, the Huffington Post reports.

Now, Fernández is focusing on actual, life-saving health care, and no one knows when his pro-abortion bill may be introduced.

Currently, most countries in South America protect unborn babies from abortion. Argentina allows abortions only in cases of rape, incest and risks to the mother’s life. Fernández’s bill would have changed that, allowing unborn babies to be killed in elective abortions.

About a month ago, during his first congressional address, Fernández said he planned to introduce the bill in early to mid-March.

“… I will present a bill for voluntary termination of pregnancy that legalizes abortion at the start of pregnancy and allows women to access the health system when they make the decision to abort,” Fernández said.

He claimed the legislation will help fight poverty and protect women from dangerous back alley and self-induced abortions, Buenos Aires Times reported at the time.

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“Abortion happens, it’s a fact,” Fernández continued, according to The Independent. “A state should protect citizens in general and women in particular. And in the 21st Century, every society needs to respect the individual choice of its members to decide freely about their bodies.”

Then, the coronavirus crisis hit, and Fernández had to direct his attentions elsewhere. According to the Huffington Post, the president issued a national quarantine and closed the borders; the legislature also canceled its session.

Here’s more from the report:

Even with Congress set to begin holding virtual hearings and Fernández maintaining that legal abortion is a priority for his government, it’s unclear when ― or whether ― the legislation will be introduced or advanced, especially as Argentina’s efforts to shore up its already struggling economy and seek assistance from outside sources like the International Monetary Fund move to the top of its list of concerns.

“At the moment, it is hard to imagine discussion of any issues not related to the economic crisis, the IMF and the public health emergency,” said Benjamin Gedan, the director of the Argentina Project at the Wilson Center, a Washington policy shop.

Abortion activists hope Argentina will be a catalyst for other South American countries to legalize abortion on demand. Catalina Martínez Coral, of the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights, said the country has a lot of “influence” over the region.

A similar proposal to legalize the killing of unborn babies failed in 2018 because of strong public opposition, including from the former president. But pro-abortion groups, backed by some of the richest men in the world, continue to put intense pressure on countries to legalize abortion on demand.

Abortion is not health care, and it does not give human rights. It destroys them. Unborn babies are human beings who also deserve compassion and protection under the law.

Legalizing abortion does not help women either. Pro-abortion groups often overestimate the number of illegal and unsafe abortions that occur in countries across the world.

Growing research also indicates that access to basic health care, not abortion, is what really helps improve women’s lives. For example, in 2018, Michelle Oberman, a Santa Clara University law professor, told the Atlantic that she was surprised when she began doing research on abortion in El Salvador. Abortions are illegal there, and she said she expected to find hospitals full of women dying from botched abortions, but she did not. According to Oberman’s research, better medical care, along with an increased availability of abortion drugs online, are leading to fewer maternal abortion deaths.

A recent Washington Post fact check also found what pro-life advocates have been saying for years: that, in the United States, few women died from abortions in the decade prior to Roe v. Wade, and a rise in the use of antibiotics appears to be the biggest factor in the drop in maternal deaths, not legalized abortions.

True compassion involves providing support for both the woman and her child, not killing one for the supposed benefit of the other.