Millions march for life in Argentina as abortion vote looms in national congress
May 23, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – An estimated 3.6 million Argentinians came together in over 200 different cities in a national “March for Life” to manifest their support for the right to life on Sunday.
The massive show of support for life comes as Argentinian legislators prepare to vote on a bill that would legalize the killing of unborn children under almost any circumstances during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy.
Demonstrators chanted slogans like “I vote for life,” and carried signs saying, “I want to be born. I am eight weeks old. My life is in your hands,” according to the Argentinian newspaper La Nación. One protester told the newspaper, “We want to demonstrate to the deputies (of the Chamber of Deputies, the lower legislative house) that the people doesn’t want abortion to be permitted. It brings two lives to an end: the child’s and the woman’s.”
The precise estimate of 3.6 million demonstrators was provided by the organizers of the march and conveyed by the major media, which for its own part merely recognized that “thousands” had participated.
The estimated number dwarfs the figure of 350,000 demonstrators in a recent “Women’s Day” march in March of this year which supported the abortion legalization bill.
The event is the second mass demonstration against the legalization of abortion in Argentina in recent months. A previous demonstration on March 25 reportedly brought hundreds of thousands of Argentinians to the streets in over 200 cities nationwide.
The bill would allow anyone to claim they were raped, without having to offer proof, or to show that their “physical, psychological, or social health” was threatened by their pregnancy, and thereby to obtain an abortion without any legal penalty. It also permits abortions carried out to kill unborn children who suffer “grave fetal malformations.”
Under current law in Argentina, abortion is classified as “non-punishable” by the law in only two circumstances: pregnancy in cases of rape, and pregnancies in which the health or life of the mother is gravely threatened.
In practice, abortion is seldom approved under these standards in comparison to more liberal regimes. For example, the city of Rosario, which has a population of about 1.3 million inhabitants, had 450 non-punishable abortions in 2016, and the city of Buenos Aires, with a population of almost 2.9 million, allowed 563 non-punishable abortions. Those numbers would be likely to skyrocket if abortion were legalized under the more liberal regime proposed by pro-abortion legislators.
Legislators in the national congress are scheduled to vote on the bill on June 13. A majority in the Chamber of Deputies seems to oppose it, while the Senate reportedly has a solid pro-life majority.
The International Planned Parenthood Federation has reportedly spent more than five million dollars in the last decade funding the organizations that are now pushing for the approval of the abortion legalization bill in Argentina, a fact that has been decried by pro-life groups in the country. However, the IPPF’s expenditures seem not to be paying off.
Although a spate of early polls indicated that a majority of Argentinians were in favor of legalizing abortion, a recent poll commissioned by the government indicates that the number of those who support the pro-life side is now virtually equal to the number who approach the pro-abortion side: 46% to 45%.