- Senate voted on bill introducing abortion on demand and violating conscience rights
- ADF International urged Senate to stay in line with international law and protect life and conscience
BUENOS AIRES (9 August 2018) – Today, Senators voted on whether abortion on demand should become legal in Argentina. Abortion is only legal when the life or health of the mother is in danger, or where the pregnancy is the result of rape. Abortion advocates have pushed the government to introduce a ‘right to abortion,’ which could deny medical professionals the right to conscientiously object to participating in abortions.
“Today, Argentina embraced life despite huge international pressure to give up existing legislation protecting life and conscience rights. Every human life is valuable. As a society, we should support all pregnant women, especially those in difficult circumstances. Argentina’s Senators affirmed this support. They voted down the ‘right to abortion,’ which would have been in violation of the international commitments the country has agreed to and that form part of its constitution,” said Neydy Casillas, Senior Counsel for ADF International.
Protecting life and conscience
There is no ‘right to abortion’ under international law. We applaud Argentina’s Senate for upholding the fundamental rights to life and conscience.
In March 2018, President Mauricio Macri asked the lower house of the Argentinian Parliament to work on a bill. By a narrow margin (129 to 125), the legislators passed one that created a “right” to abortion. Under this bill, doctors could be forced to perform abortions or face jail.
The Argentine Senate, which considered the bill, invited ADF International and other human rights experts to comment on the proposed legislation. While proponents of the bill argued in favour of a “right to abortion,” Neydy Casillas drew attention to Argentina’s obligations under international law to protect life and to ensure that medical professionals have the right to conscientious objection.
Paul Coleman, Executive Director of ADF International, welcomed the Senate’s vote: “There is no ‘right to abortion’ under international law. We applaud Argentina’s Senate for upholding the fundamental rights to life and conscience. The people of Argentina may now continue to live in a country where both lives matter – the life of the mother and the life of the child.”