Contrary to various media reports, the Committee on Penal Legislation of Argentina’s House of Representatives did not vote to approve a measure that would legalize abortion.
The clarifications were published on Nov. 3 by Argentinean newspaper La Nacion and the Notivida news agency.
When the House committee met on Nov. 1, only 6 of 31 members voted for the pro-abortion measure.
Notivida said the erroneous reports in the media were based on misleading statements by Representatives Victoria Donda and Vilma Ibarra, both supporters of abortion, who claimed the measure passed.
La Nacion reported on Nov. 3 that committee chairman Juan Carlos Vega, admitted that it did not have enough votes.
Vega “acknowledged that only six lawmakers voted for the measure, when in reality eight votes were required, as House rules dictate that it must have the support of at least half of the members present (16).”
“What happened?” La Nacion asked. “Was it an oversight, an involuntary error by the chairman of the committee or a deliberate intention to lie in order to show that the measure was passed?"
“The entire debate was a mess,” said pro-life congresswoman Cinthia Hotton. “Vega lied twice: he said he had convened all sides to air their viewpoints in a public hearing and this was not the case. He also lied when he announced it had passed, knowing that it had not received enough votes,” Hotton said.
“This wasn’t ignorance, but malicious intent,” she added. “This was very irresponsible, especially when dealing with a matter as serious as this.”
Once the true outcome of the vote was made public, Vega was forced to throw out the proposal.