Argentina should not legalise abortion

Defending human life from the point of conception should be the backbone of any prosperous society. We are witnessing a decline in fertility rate worldwide, and yet abortion rates are increasing across the planet, for example one in four women decide to abort in the US and in the UK. We need to stop this from happening in Argentina.

Since losing their supposed right to legal abortion in 2018, Argentine “pañuelo verde”, pro-choice movements, have demanded “legal, safe and free” abortion. President Alberto Fernandez, during the opening of the legislative session, has stated that abortion will be legal in Argentina, an announcement which was followed by a standing ovation. However, he is also planning to move forward with a more balanced proposal, that includes an integral program of protection for vulnerable mothers, with assistance for the first 1000 days after childbirth. These two proposals are contradictory, since the legalization of abortion, in line with the guidelines of international abortion providers, seeks to actively encourage the termination of human life.

This supposedly “balanced” law poses a serious threat for pro-life advocates. Saying that you will assist pregnant mothers to have a child does not warrant a law legalizing the termination of human life. Fernandez gambles with these two clear contradictions, describing himself as moderate, by seeking to unify two inherently antithetical views on life and the social movements which support these opposing views.  

We know that pro-abortion movements have been spreading false claims about the number of deaths through abortion. For example, they claim that since clandestine abortions occur and can kill the expectant mother, legal abortions should be granted. They say legalizing abortion will make it safer and will avoid more deaths. However, there are a few serious issues to consider, hidden under these misleading statements.

Firstly, clandestine abortion is not the leading cause of maternal death, official figures only record 19 deaths caused by illegal abortion. Secondly, making abortion legal does not make it safer, since abortion clinics often break basic sanitary regulations and do not have to maintain the basic sanitary requirements of a regular medical clinic, as a former pro-choice doctor testifies. So legalizing abortion does not avoid deaths due to clandestine abortion, since they are minimal, and going to clinics that allow this procedure risk potential unsanitary conditions and further complications.

We could assume that pro-choice movements do not know the basic facts about the “safe” practice of abortion. Feminist groups, in Argentina and the rest of the world, wish to establish their right to choose and want to force society to accept the choice to have an abortion as a fundamental human right. However, an alternative feminist perspective, which upholds the dignity of all human life and values the role of the family in society, contradicts the relativist abortion movements of today.

In Argentina, pro-abortion movements still have some huge obstacles they need to overcome. Senator Mayans from Frente de Todos, the head of the pro-choice government coalition in the senate, is against legalizing abortion and has even compared it to the death penalty. The senator has claimed that in the case of abortion being legalized, it is comparable to the state authorizing murder. This accurate statement highlights the core of the problem: abortion means ending a human life – murder by any other name.

This would violate the Argentinian constitution, which protects human life after conception, and various international treatises (the American Convention on Human Rights, American Declaration of Rights and Duties of Man) which uphold that every person has a right to life. Legalizing abortion would allow people to arbitrarily determine who deserves to live and who doesn’t, which trivializes the inherent right to life of every human being.

The Argentinian Senate is divided on the abortion issue, with thirty-four senators against and 32 for abortion, which is enough to stop the abortion law. This is a promising sign for Argentina, which sends a clear message to the government: getting rid of protection for the unborn is contrary to the dignity of human life. Legislators and civil society should propose integrative solutions that uphold the dignity of human life and help families in vulnerable situations to provide enough care for their newly born children.

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