NewsThu Sep 6, 2007 - 12:15 pm EST
Pro-Abortion Groups Seek Proceedings Against Pro-Life Judge in Argentina
By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman
PARANA, Argentina, September 6, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Angry representatives of several governmental and non-governmental organizations met in Parana, Argentina Monday to discuss possible criminal proceedings against a judge who recently ruled against an abortion in that city.
Judge Claudia Salomon of Parana recently decreed that an abortion could not be performed on a retarded girl who was raped by her cousin, after a defense attorney involved in the case made a motion against it on the grounds that it would violate "the rights of the unborn person" involved. The girl, whose name has been withheld by the Argentine media, is four months pregnant (see recent LifeSiteNews coverage at http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2007/sep/07090502.html).
The groups demanded that the government "effectively comply with article 86 of the National Penal Code, in which the practice of non-punishable abortion is recognized in which the life or the health of the woman is in danger, and when the pregnancy is the product of a rape of a demented or retarded woman" according to local press reports.
The groups complained that Salomon and defense attorney Maria Marcela Piterson were "impeding the application of the cited article" which "is a clear denial of an acquired right" and accused her of delaying the appeal of the case, which could jeopardize the abortion.
The organizations included the Argentine government’s "National Institute Against Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Racism", which has stated its commitment to promoting "debate" about abortion in Argentina, as well as several feminist Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) affiliated with the United Nations.
Salomon has also come under fire from Argentina’s health minister, Gines Gonzalez Garcia, who is an enthusiastic promoter of the abortifacient "morning after pill" and the use of contraceptives. Gonzalez Garcia accuses Salomon of "interfering with what the law protects".
"This is a right completely protected by the law, given in a Penal Code that is fairly restrictive," said Gonzalez Garcia. "Justice cannot be used to prohibit compliance with the law."
However, the law of Argentina is far from clear on the topic. Article four of the Constitution of Argentina states that "each person has the right to respect for his life from the moment of conception", while the penal code of Argentina contradicts this principle, giving exceptions for abortions performed on retarded women or those who are rape victims.
Coincidentally, an almost identical case occurred in Argentina last year, in which a nineteen year old retarded girl, known only by her initials "LMR", was raped and impregnated. After Judge Inés Noemí Siro ruled against a proposed abortion, the Supreme Court of Argentina overturned her decision. However, doctors refused to carry out the abortion on medical grounds, citing the fact that the pregnancy was too advanced.
In the midst of these events, the Cardinal Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Jorge Bergoglio, recently blasted those "proud" individuals who believe themselves to be "owners of life" who "can decide that this person must live, and this one must die". "The bigger you are, the more power you have, the humbler you must be, because the height of power makes you dizzy, and when you become dizzy, you say ridiculous things, things that are out of place" he noted.
Embassy of Argentina in the USA
1600 New Hampshire Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20009-2512
Phone (202) 238-6401
Fax (202) 332-3171
Embassy of Argentina in Canada
81 Metcalfe Street, Suite 700
Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 6K7
Tel: (613) 236-2351
Fax: (613) 235-2659
Argentine Embassies in Other Countries
Related LifeSiteNews Coverage:
Argentina Doctors to Government: You can’t Expect Us to Start Practicing Abortion
Argentina Judge Stops Abortion for Mentally Disabled Woman