Argentina abortion: President Alberto Fernández is to present new bill to Congress

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Argentina’s President Alberto Fernández is to present a replacement bill to Congress on legalising abortion – a campaign pledge delayed by the coronavirus outbreak.

He says the measure will help save lives, as per annum almost 40,000 women are treated in hospital after botched illegal procedures.

Abortion in Argentina is currently allowed only in cases of rape, or if the mother’s health is in peril .

It is largely prohibited across Latin America , except in restricted cases.

If the bill is passed, Argentina – an overwhelmingly Roman Catholic nation – will become the most important country within the region to legalise abortion.

Mr Fernández, who was sworn in as president in December, had previously described abortion as “a matter of public health”.

In 2018, the Senate rejected legalising abortion up to 14 weeks of pregnancy. Back then, the govt didn’t back the proposal, and therefore the Catholic Church was strongly opposed.

Many Argentines who have protested in their thousands for reform hope that the president’s support this point are going to be decisive.

The debate surrounding abortion in Argentina was reignited last year, when an 11-year-old rape victim gave birth by C-section.

The girl, who had been raped by her grandmother’s 65-year-old partner, had requested an abortion but the procedure was repeatedly delayed over questions on the identity of her guardian.

Cuba, Uruguay and Guyana are currently the sole Latin American countries to allow abortion within the first weeks of pregnancy.

While another countries allow abortion within the case of rape or risk to the mother’s life, it’s completely banned in El Salvador , Honduras, Nicaragua and Haiti.

In El Salvador , dozens of girls are imprisoned for the deaths of their foetuses in cases where they assert they suffered miscarriages or stillbirths.

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Evelyn Hernandez, a Salvadoran teenager, was raped by a gang member then jailed for 30 years for what her supporters say was a miscarriage. Opponents say she killed her child.

Last year she was released pending a retrial.

Source: bbc news

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