A provincial judge in Argentina on Thursday declared the law legalizing elective abortion in the country unconstitutional. The ruling applies to the province, and must be ratified by higher courts.
Judge María Eugenia Bona issued the sentence March 18 in response to a suit filed by former senator Liliana Negre.
Negre had filed for an injunction against San Luis Province to end “the state of uncertainty” caused by the contradiction between articles contained in the abortion law and the Civil and Commercial Code.
Elective abortion was legalized in Argentina Dec. 30, 2020. Previously, Argentine law allowed abortion in cases when the mother’s life or health was in danger, or in cases of rape.
The former senator requested the prohibition of “the medical or clinical surgical practice of abortion” with the exception of those grounds that allow abortion in cases of rape or danger to the life or integral health of the mother.
The judge declared Article 19 of the Civil and Commercial Code, which recognizes the “existence of the human person from conception”, fully to be in force.
On this basis, she also declared unconstitutional several articles of Argentina’s abortion law, which permit elective abortion up to the fourteenth week of gestation, speak of the right to decide on abortion, of abortion care “in the services of the health system”; and about “post-abortion care in the services of the health system, without prejudice to the fact that the decision to abort would have been contrary to the cases legally authorized in accordance with this law.”
The judgement is in accordance with what is described in the Vienna Convention, the Human Rights Convention or the Pact of San José of Costa Rica; the National Constitution, and the Constitution of the Province of San Luis.
Bona noted that the law for the comprehensive protection of children and adolescents “gives precedence to the right of the child, in the face of a conflict.”
“It is worth wondering, because in the questioned law (of abortion), only the situation of women is defended, their rights … forgetting, for example, that this child has a father who may love him, that there are grandparents, who have an obligation of maintenance and may also love that grandchild. But they are the great absentees”.
Furthermore, according to the American Convention on Human Rights, “everyone has the right to have their life respected” and this right is protected by law and in general from the moment of conception: “no one can be arbitrarily deprived of life”.
Likewise, article 49 of the Provincial Constitution of San Luis says, “the state protects the human person from conception to birth and from this to full development.”
Bona also recalled the statements of the College of Lawyers and Attorneys of the Province of San Luis and the National Academy of Law, which questioned the abortion law even before its approval.
However, Negre explained to ACI Prensa that abortions will continue to be procured in the province as long as the sentence is not ratified. For this, she must go through several judicial instances until reaching the Supreme Court of Argentina.
The abortion law was an electoral promise by president Alberto Fernández, whose bill was debated in less than a month in both houses of Congress.
To reverse the law, some pro-life organizations and lawyers have filed writs of amparo to declare it unconstitutional, in provinces such as Buenos Aires, Mendoza, and Salta.
In addition, numerous statements of conscientious objection from doctors, health personnel, and clinics have been added.