Argentine President Alberto Fernández sent a bill to Congress to decriminalise abortion, despite Catholic objections. In anticipation of the abortion bill being proposed, Argentina’s bishops blasted the president’s plans for decriminalisation as “untenable and inappropriate” – both on ethical grounds and the timing during a pandemic.
President Fernández presented the bill November 17 and said via video “that the state must accompany women in their maternal projects.” That included “caring for the lives of those who decide to interrupt their pregnancy,” he added.
The president also said the bill was an attempt at removing abortion from clandestine circumstances, adding that around 38,000 women are hospitalised each year “due to abortions.” It would allow abortion during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy and at any time in the case of rape or if the mother’s life is in danger.
Part of the proposal, Mr Fernández said, would provide assistance to pregnant women and their families – including child support payments – to avoid abortions for economic reasons. The South American country has suffered a severe economic downturn in recent years, which was made worse during the coronavirus pandemic.