Courts halt approval of abortion in Argentina as false information about mother’s pregnancy is discovered

.- A federal court in Mendoza has accepted a petition to halt the abortion of a baby conceived through rape, after it was revealed that the unborn child is in his twentieth week of gestation and not in his twelfth, as the plaintiffs had claimed.

The case in Mendoza concerns a 25 year-old handicapped woman who supposedly conceived through rape.  The parents of the young woman are using a similar case in La Plata as the basis for their own.

The case was halted after pro-life groups discovered that the young woman seeking the abortion in Mendoza is in reality 20 weeks pregnant and not 12, as her lawyers have insisted.

The organizations “Life More Humane” and “Women for a more Humane Life” reported that the clinical history of the woman indicates her pregnancy is well advanced and that the baby has reached viability.

“If, as has been publicly said, the purpose here is to protect the health of the mother,” the groups said, “it is obvious that an abortion at such a late stage in the pregnancy would seriously complicate the health of the woman and would pose a risk to her life.”

“Likewise,” the statement indicates, “knowledge of these circumstances by hospital directors, judicial officials, and officials of the Ministry of Health would make them legally responsible if the murderous act were to take place.”

Archbishop Jose Maria Arancibia of Mendoza has issued a statement in response to the case, recalling that “under no circumstances can the health of a human being be pursued by harming directly or intentionally the integrity of another human being, because the ends do not justify the means, no matter how noble the end.”

“From such fundamental ethical and human questions it is not good to exclude the perspective that religious and spiritual traditions offer because of ideological motives,” the archbishop noted.  “Our society seems to be increasingly influenced by an individualistic pragmatism that is only subject to the empire of economic laws. It urgently needs to have its deeper spiritual forces activated.  Religion—although not exclusively—can provide the soul that vivifies the social fabric, opening it up to more human perspectives,” he added.

“The conditions of poverty, marginality, unwanted pregnancies in adolescents, and young people at risk are not adequately addressed by a rapid decriminalization of abortion,” the archbishop went on.  “We should be debating something else in society, most of all, a better coordinated effort to attack the root causes of these problems, which will ensure that we are building a society that has a truly human face to it,” Archbishop Aranciba’s statement concluded.

The court also removed Judge German Ferrer from the case because of his controversial statements.  He had told a local newspaper that if the doctors refused to carry out the abortion, the mother could sue them for pain and suffering.  The court said Judge Ferrer prejudged the case and compromised his impartiality with the statements.

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