The cause for the protection of human life scored a huge win in the homeland of Pope Francis yesterday when the Argentinian senate voted to reject a bill that would have legalized elective abortion.
According to the Miami Herald, lawmakers were locked in debate for more than 15 hours over the bill which would have legalized abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. Meanwhile, thousands of citizens stood outside in the heavy rain and cold temperatures of the Argentinian winter – pro-abortion groups wearing green and pro-life groups wearing light blue.
The Independent is reporting that during the debate, Senator Mario Fiad called abortion a “tragedy” and said the legislation would violate international treaties.
“The right to life is about to become the weakest of rights,” he said before the vote.
Another senator, Pedro Guastavino, said that although he was initially against the law, he changed his mind after learning how illegal abortions put women’s lives at risk.
“The only way to understand this is through the point of view of public health,” he said.
Senators definitely felt the pressure as the country faced an historic moment that all knew would cast its shadow across Latin America which continues to have strict laws on abortion, largely due to a substantial Catholic majority.
The Church proved to be a pivotal player in the months-long debate and continued to lead the fight up until the final vote.
According to Vatican News, the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Mario Aurelio Poli, issued an eleventh-hour appeal to Senators not to interrupt “the honorable and praiseworthy tradition of legislating for the common good and for a culture of life, protecting the weakest and most defenseless, who are waiting to participate in history.”
On the day of the vote, the Archbishop celebrated Mass to pray for the vote’s positive outcome.
Their efforts paid off. When the final vote was tallied, the bill was defeated 38-31.
As soon as the outcome was announced, cheers rang out from the pro-life crowd while those in favor of abortion began clashing with police, throwing firebombs and setting up barricades of fire, forcing police to respond with tear gas.
“Life in the womb is human life, and every human being deserves protection. Argentina, like all of South America, is pro-life and will remain so,” said Catherine Glenn Foster, president and CEO of Americans United for Life.
“Argentina has wisely rejected the false message that abortion is necessary to protect women’s health; the truth is that the more pro-mother and pro-life a country is, the better its maternal health record generally is, as the experience of Argentina’s neighbor Chile amply shows. We also applaud the courage of the original bill sponsor, Senator Silvina García Larraburu, who changed her mind and voted her convictions against this bill.”
Let us thank God for the courage He gave to those who fought to protect human life during this critical time in the country’s history!
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