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ADF International urged senators to stay in line with international law, protect life, conscience

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – Senators in Argentina voted Thursday against making abortion on demand legal. Abortion is only legal in Argentina when the life or health of the mother is in danger or when 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.

“Argentina has embraced life despite huge international pressure to give up existing legislation protecting life and freedom of conscience,” said ADF International Senior Counsel Neydy Casillas. “Every human life is valuable. As a society, we should support all pregnant women, especially those in difficult circumstances. Argentina’s Senate 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.”

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 Argentinian 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 favor 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.

ADF International Executive Director Paul Coleman welcomed the Senate’s vote: “There is no ‘right to abortion’ under international law. We applaud the Argentinian 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.”

ADF International is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.
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