Argentina legalized abortion for women as far along as their 14th week of pregnancy.
Pope Francis and the Argentinian Catholic Church opposed the bill, and according to a survey, 60 percent of Argentines opposed the bill.
The International Planned Parenthood Federation/ Western Hemisphere Region financed a large operation in Argentina, pushing the legalization of abortion.
The streets in Buenos Aires were filled with freedom, excitement, joy, heartache, and suffering last Wednesday morning. At 4:00 a.m., a 12-hour debate came to an end. The result was the passing of a bill legalizing abortion for women as far along as their 14th week of pregnancy. The bill was passed with 38 senators in favor, 29 against, and one abstention. The Chamber of Deputies had already approved the bill earlier in December.
Until last Wednesday, pregnant women in Argentina were only allowed to have an abortion if their health was at risk or if conception was the result of rape. Since democracy was restored to Argentina in 1983, there’ve been over 3,000 women die during an illegal, underground abortion procedure. The passing of the bill makes it less likely these deaths will happen in the future. Women now have the right to make this decision on their own.
With Latin America being heavily influenced by the Catholic Church, this move was highly opposed. Pope Francis, a former archbishop of Buenos Aires, along with many other officials within the Catholic Church, had been calling on Argentina’s senators to reject the bill. Still, the changing of the law which had been in effect since 1921 had the full support of left-wing President Alberto Fernandez.
The President took to Twitter saying,
“Safe, legal, and free abortion is now law. Today we are a better society.”
After the law was nearly changed two years ago, Fernandez made reintroducing the bill one of his campaign promises.
Huge crowds of pro-life and pro-choice supporters filled the streets surrounding congress in Buenos Aires where they followed the debate on huge screens. Finally, around 4:00 a.m. on Wednesday, the pro-choice supporters marked by their green bandanas and scarves started celebrating their victory.
Are Argentina’s People Really in Support of Abortion?
While strong opposition to the bill was put up by both Argentina’s growing evangelical community and the powerful Catholic Church in the country, the growing women’s movement, “green wave,” has been a force on the front lines of the political battle for several years now.
Countless pro-choice activists are hoping the new bill passing in Argentina, one of the region’s largest and most influential countries, will lead to others taking the same action. Both Brazil and Chile are expected to be following suit in the near future.
Following the senate’s passing of the bill, a statement was released by the Argentinean Catholic Bishops Conference. The statement accused the political leadership of Argentina of being very distant from the sentiment of the people. The Bishops Conference went on to vow the continuation of working “with firmness and passion in the care and service of life.”
According to a survey carried last November by Giacobbe & Asociados, the law was opposed by 60 percent of Argentines with just over 26 percent in favor. According to Catholic News Agency, “The law was strongly supported by the media, TV personalities, and other influencers.”
The bishop’s statement included,
“This law that has been voted will further deepen the divisions in our country. We deeply regret the remoteness of the leadership from the people’s feelings, which has been expressed in various ways in favor of life throughout our country.”
During the previous two years, the local press and media have mostly ignored several marches. These were some of the most attended and peaceful rallies in Argentina’s history.
Motives We Need to Know
Within a matter of hours following abortion being legalized by Argentina’s senate, one of Planned Parenthood’s international branches, The International Planned Parenthood Federation/ Western Hemisphere Region, published a post boasting of their financing a large operation in Argentina, pushing the legalization of abortion.
The published post contradicts the claims made by President Fernandez, pushing against concerns of pro-life supporters. They believed the law was being backed by the Ford Foundation, Planned Parenthood, and other international pro-choice organizations. The President pushed back that his motives were behind the people.
The post reveals IPPFWHR “has nurtured an ecosystem of feminist organizations and activists for more than 15 years that contributed to make today possible.”
There are seven Argentinian partners directly supported by IPPFWHR. Funds are being sub-granted to more than 15 organizations around Argentina. They’ve been developing together around common activities, like ensuring communication campaigns and advocating with policymakers favoring abortion rights. This “group of partners” has also been actively organizing how the new law can best be implemented, and supported.
Why This Matters
While Argentina isn’t quite up to par with the government of the United States, they’re not far behind us anymore. They are a Republic with representative democracy, along with a presidential system.
Yes, money has always gone a long way when it comes to influencing politics in America. Still, in my opinion, it’s no longer something that’s hidden the way it used to be. Regardless of which side of the table you sit on, abortion is a major issue. This is a statement that can be made within our own borders. We don’t have to watch what’s happening in South America from afar.
More than likely, pro-choice organizations will start throwing enough money around in places such as Brazil and Chile. More South American countries will begin following Argentina’s lead.
If you’re a Christian, or simply pro-life for that matter, this should trouble you. Say you’re someone who supports pro-choice objectives. The fact that a decision like this can be bought should be troubling. The Vatican is one of the wealthiest sovereign states in the world. What happens if the Catholic Church decides they want to make more noise with financial influence? You have to admit, if you agree abortion should be legal, that thought has to bother you.
A new administration is preparing to take office here in the United States. The topic of abortion is going to come up within the next year. That’s a guarantee. After seeing how the abortion issue has played out in Argentina, as Americans, it’s something that definitely needs our attention. This needs to be said with all of the laws that will be voted on in the future. Until we begin making more noise ourselves as citizens, the largest check will always win.
Jeffrey Stevens is a published author and is currently earning his second degree in theology from Aidan University. His writings are focused on the Christian faith, mixed with some sports writing from time to time. When it comes to his faith, he had articles published on websites such as Catholic 365, Big Pulpit, Catholic Stand, and Joshua’s Outpost.
As a sportswriter, his articles have been featured on ESPN, Sports Illustrated, and Bleacher Report. Jeffrey can be heard hosting the Gospel Grammar show, available on Google Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, and RadioPublic.