NewsMon Sep 17, 2007 - 12:15 pm EST
Pro-Life Ruling Overturned—Grandparent Fights for Life of Mentally Disabled Daughter’s Unborn Child
By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman
PARANA, Argentina, September 17, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The decision to preserve the life of an unborn child in Argentina has been overturned by a higher tribunal, and now the child’s grandfather is fighting to preserve the child’s life.
Judge Claudia Salomon of the city of Parana ruled against an abortion last week for a nineteen year old mentally disabled girl who had been impregnated by a relative, when an attorney in the case made a preventative motion in the interest of the rights of the unborn child (see recent LifeSiteNews coverage at http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2007/sep/07090601.html).
After denunciations in the media from government officials in the leftist Kirchner administration and various pro-abortion groups, the decision was overturned by the Civil Chamber of Parana, a court of second instance, on September 11th.
In the wake of the decision, the estranged father of the handicapped girl (referred to by the media as "MFC" to preserve her anonymity) has sent a letter through his attorney urging the hospital caring for his daughter not to perform the abortion and to inform his daughter’s mother of the negative health consequences of abortion. He has also stated that he is considering an appeal of the decision in order to save his grandchild’s life.
"One understands the complexity of the topic and the human pain that this produces, but we are convinced that the interruption of the pregnancy doesn’t bring benefits to anyone," said his attorney.
The mother of MFC is enraged by the intervention of her daughter’s estranged father, claiming that he has not seen her for 17 years. She is threatening to sue him for back child support if he proceeds with an appeal. She is adamant about obtaining the abortion, and has previously cited financial reasons for her decision.
Article four of the Argentine constitution protects human life from the moment of conception. However, the existing penal code does not punish abortions in certain cases, including cases in which a mentally disabled woman has been raped.
The higher court, in overturning the ruling protecting the life of the unborn child, stated that the issue was a "private" matter for MFC’s mother, and that an abortion that is not punished under Argentine law does not require judicial authorization. In addition, the court denied that the penal code’s failure to punish abortions was contrary to the constitution or international human rights agreements.
The Argentine Society of Catholic Lawyers denounced the decision the following day, observing that "this is another attempt, by judicial means, to make innocent life vulnerable, invoking rules that have lost their validity because they are in clear conflict with others in the constitutional hierarchy." They requested that "the sentence dictated by the Civil Chamber of Parana be revoked quickly, in defense of the innocent life sought for sacrifice."
In response to Judge Salomon’s original ruling, the Penal Legislation Commission of the Chilean congress has scheduled a hearing on a new law that would explicitly acknowledge "therapeutic abortion" as a right, which will be held Monday, September 17th.
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Related LifeSiteNews Coverage:
Pro-Abortion Groups Seek Proceedings Against Pro-Life Judge in Argentina
Two Latin American Babies Saved from Abortion by their Governments
Argentina Doctors to Government: You can’t Expect Us to Start Practicing Abortion
Argentina Judge Stops Abortion for Mentally Disabled Woman