Judge Blocks New Argentina Law Legalizing Abortions, Says Unborn Babies Have a “Right to Life”

International   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Feb 2, 2021   |   6:42PM   |   Washington, DC

Pro-lifers in Argentina won a victory for the unborn last week when a judge approved an injunction against the country’s new abortion law.

The Buenos Aires Times reports Judge Marta Aucar ordered “a suspension on the application of the abortion law” Thursday in the Chaco Province.

In her ruling, she agreed with pro-life advocates that legalized abortions “restrict, undermine, abuse, limit and alter” the “right to life of the unborn child, [which is] protected by our legal system from conception,” according to the report.

Argentina lawmakers voted to legalize abortions on Dec. 31. The law allows unborn babies to be aborted for any reason up to 14 weeks of pregnancy and later in cases of rape or dangers to the mother’s life or health. It also forces doctors to either abort unborn babies or refer women to someone else who will.

Pro-abortion lawmakers quickly slammed the judge, calling her ruling “mindless and irresponsible,” the Times reports.

“It’s a legal monstrosity, a mockery of democratic institutions and legal security,” said national Senator María Inés Pilatti Vergara.

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Meanwhile, the judge said she received several death threats from abortion activists since her ruling last week, Crux reports.

Here’s more from the report:

On Saturday, the Corporation of Catholic Lawyers released a statement in support of Aucar, saying the harassment she’s experienced is “a veiled threat” to other judges evaluating similar petitions.

The lawyers urged all judges to follow the example of Aucar and, “without being intimidated by political pressure, to comply with the oath to ‘faithfully observe and enforce’ the national constitution, provincial constitutions and laws.”

It appears likely that abortion activists will appeal her ruling. According to the Times, the appeal could go to the Chaco Appeals Chamber or eventually to the Supreme Court of Justice.

Many Argentinians oppose the legalization of killing unborn babies in abortions. Soon after the vote, the city of Yerba Buena flew its flags at half-mast and declared three days of mourning for the “babies who will not be born.”

“We understand that this abortion law is unconstitutional. It was approved by a very small margin,” said Javier Jantus, secretary of institutional relations for the city. “… the vast majority of Argentines reject this law, which is one of the most permissive and cruel laws in the world.”

Pro-lifers also gathered in San Miguel and other cities to protest for the unborn, according to Portal Prensa. They criticized the law for “legitimiz[ing] the death of the defenseless” and turning “a crime into a right.”

Other countries in South America are taking actions to protect unborn babies in reaction to the new Argentina law, too.

Last week, the Honduran National Congress strengthened its pro-life laws by amending the national constitution to declare that unborn babies have the same rights as born human beings. Lawmakers passed the reforms in response to growing international pressure on pro-life countries to legalize abortions.

Most countries in Central and South America protect unborn babies from abortion. Until now, Argentina only allowed abortions in cases of rape or threats to the mother’s life. Abortion advocacy groups, backed by some of the richest men in the world, hope the vote in Argentina will prompt neighboring countries to legalize abortions as well.