Argentine President Milei: Abortion is aggravated homicide

Javier Milei Argentine President Javier Milei is pictured here during an audience with Pope Francis on Feb. 12, 2024. | Credit: Vatican Media via Vatican Pool/Getty Images

The president of Argentina, Javier Milei, says abortion “is murder aggravated by the bond” between mother and child and condemned the so-called “voluntary interruption of pregnancy,” a euphemism for killing the child in the womb.

The statement was part of a March 6 speech at the beginning of classes at the secondary level at Cardenal Copello School in Buenos Aires, where Milei was a student.

In Argentine penal law, “homicide aggravated by the bond” is a degree of murder in which the killer and the victim are related by blood or intimate relationship.

The president, who during his election campaign had pledged that he was going to repeal the country’s permissive abortion law, also took aim at the “murderers with green neckerchiefs,” referring to the neckerchiefs imprinted with the message “legal, safe, and free abortion” that were worn or displayed by activists during their campaign to get abortion legalized in 2020 at the start of President Alberto Fernández’s term in office.

“For me, abortion is a murder aggravated by the bond and I can demonstrate that from a mathematical and philosophical perspective, from liberalism and also from a biological perspective,” the president said before an auditorium full of students and teachers at the school.

“What politicians do,” Milei continued, ”is party and pass the bill to generations that haven’t even been born, and some politicians, who also try to kill, are the murderers with the green neckerchiefs.”

Although Milei’s government has expressed its opposition to abortion on numerous occasions, in his first three months as president he hasn’t introduced any specific bill. In Argentina, a bill can also be introduced in congress by the executive branch.

A few days before the 2023 elections, Milei’s running mate, then candidate and now vice president Victoria Villarruel, said in an interview that repealing the abortion law is an issue that “doesn’t have such urgency considering that the economy is totally outrageous and you can’t do business or live, you can’t rent and you also have no security.”

However, last February congresswoman Rocío Bonacci, a member of La Libertad Avanza (Freedom Advances), the victorious political coalition led by Milei, introduced a bill to repeal the existing abortion law. This sparked a controversy within the coalition, since she didn’t have the coalition’s approval nor had the president himself been consulted.

“The bill is my initiative, not the executive branch’s, and has been introduced for the consideration of the body that I am a member of. I defend life. Nothing more, nothing less,” Bonacci said at that time.

This story was first publishedby ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language sister service. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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