The Committee on Marriage and the Family of the Bishops’ Conference of Argentina issued a statement this week recalling that the country’s Supreme Court has already ruled that the unborn child is a “person” under the law and that therefore a measure being considered by the Argentinean Congress to legalize abortion is unconstitutional.
The Committee pointed to a Supreme Court ruling in 1976 that ordered economic compensation be granted to Elvira Berta Sanchez for the killing of her daughter and her unborn child by soldiers in the military.
At the time, Sanchez’s daughter, Ana Maria del Carmen Perez, was just days away from giving birth when she was shot in the abdomen and her unborn child was killed.
The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Sanchez’s petition, saying the unborn are persons under the law entitled to rights and obligations and that in the case of Carmen Perez, the unborn child should be considered a victim of the crime as well under Argentinean law.
The bishops’ committee noted that the Supreme Court’s ruling gives equal legal protection to the unborn and to the mother, thus rejecting arguments that the right to life of the unborn child must be subject to rights of the mother.
“Perhaps this ruling will serve to enlighten the minds of Argentineans and show the fallacy of those who tout abortion as necessary payment for the ‘empowerment’ of women, when it is nothing more than a neo-liberal tool for doing away with the poor, because they don’t know how to end poverty,” the committee said.