Buenos Aires, Argentina, Jun 17, 2018 / 15:13 pm
The bishops of Argentina said that this week’s vote in the House of Representatives to legalize abortion shows the shortcomings of both the Church and society in accompanying women and educating people.
In a statement, the bishops said the vote calls them to recognize the “weaknesses in our pastoral efforts: comprehensive sex education in our educational institutions, a fuller recognition of the common dignity of women and men, and the accompaniment of women at risk for abortion or who have gone through that trauma.”
“These are all calls from reality that call us to a response as a Church,” they said.
By a vote of 129 to 125 with one abstention, Argentina's House of Representatives passed a bill on Thursday that would legalize abortion through 14 weeks of pregnancy.
The bill will now be sent to the Senate, and then to President Mauricio Macri, who has encouraged “responsible” debate over the topic and said that he personally opposes the legislation but will not veto it if Congress approves it.
The current law in Argentina prohibits abortion, except when the mother’s life or health is determined to be in danger, or in cases of rape.
If passed, the bill would allow would allow abortion for any reason up to the 14th week of gestation. Minors under 16 could get an abortion without having to inform their parents.
Health care workers under the bill could be eligible for conscience-based objections to participating in an abortion if they make such a request in advance “individually and in writing” to the director of their medical center. Institutions and health care facilities as a whole would not be allowed to conscientiously object to abortion.