.- After seven hours of debate, Argentina’s House of Representatives approved a law legalizing sterilizations and vasectomies despite massive opposition from the Church and warnings from numerous medical and pro-life groups. The final vote on the measure was 147-41, with two abstentions. The measure now goes before the Senate.
The new law would require both public and private hospitals to perform the procedures and make them available - even to minors.
In addition, if the law is passed by the Senate, the procedures could be requested without the consent or knowledge of the patient’s spouse. While it would allow doctors to opt out of performing them for reasons of conscience, the measure would require that both private and public institutions have alternative personnel on staff willing to carry them out.
Dr. Roberto Castellano, president of the group Pro-Life in Argentina, denounced the project as part of the, “requirements imposed on our country by the World Bank,” which has agreed to loan Argentina over three billion dollars to finance its national debt in 2006.
“Thus, not only is the external debt increasing, but the legal framework of a morality contrary to human health and the integrity of the body is being devised and camouflaged as a ‘right,’ when in reality it is the same logic that can be applied in a veterinarian center on the physiology of an animal.”