Argentinean medical ethics group warns that court ruling will open the door to legal abortion

.- The Argentinean Society for Medical and Biological Ethics warned this week that a court ruling that grants prosecutorial immunity to women who seek medical assistance after procuring an abortion is “the first step towards the decriminalization of abortion.”

The Society questioned the ruling by Judges Maria Laura Garrigos and Rodolfo Pociello Argerich, who said women who seek medical attention after having an abortion are not subject to legal sanction.

The ruling came in response to the case of an underage girl who required medical attention after suffering complications from a clandestine abortion.  The Natividad Frias case of 1996 enshrined into law prosecutorial immunity for women who seek medical attention to save their lives after having recourse to an abortion.

The new ruling establishes that a woman who has undergone an abortion is “above all a patient that the doctor is obliged to help and to cure.  Forcing doctors to denounce their own clients,” the ruling said, would constitute “a flagrant violation” of doctor/patient confidentiality.

The Society said the ruling would open to the door to the legalization of abortion, although it does penalize “third parties” who participate in abortions.


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