Pro-abortion advocates had plenty of reason to celebrate last week as a divisive social debate in Argentina concluded in their favor.
Argentina has traditionally been a pro-life country, but after surrendering to pressure from international pro-choice advocacy groups, it recently became the largest Latin American country to legalize abortion.
As The Guardian reported, pro-choice campaigners “erupted in celebration” on Dec. 30 after Argentina’s Senate decided in a 38-29 vote to legalize abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy.
While Argentina previously made exceptions for abortion in cases of rape or risk to the mother’s life, this decision essentially legalizes elective abortion nationally.
The vote came several weeks after the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Argentina’s Congress, approved the abortion bill. The legislation had been put before the body by Argentina’s president, Alberto Fernández.
“Safe, legal and free abortion is law … Today we are a better society that expands rights to women and guarantees public health,” the left-leaning president wrote on Twitter.
El aborto seguro, legal y gratuito es ley.
A ello me comprometí que fuera en los días de campaña electoral.
Hoy somos una sociedad mejor que amplía derechos a las mujeres y garantiza la salud pública.
Recuperar el valor de la palabra empeñada. Compromiso de la política. pic.twitter.com/cZRy179Zrj
— Alberto Fernández (@alferdez) December 30, 2020
According to Agence France-Presse, legalizing abortion has been one of Fernández’s longtime campaign promises — and now it has been fulfilled.
This vow likely was not made with a majority of Argentines in mind, however, as many of them made their opposition to abortion known through peaceful protests during a previous attempt at legalization in 2018.
After a virtual March for Life in May, Argentinian Sen. Silvia Elías de Pérez told the Catholic News Agency that she thought previous efforts to legalize abortion had failed because “a huge number of Argentinians … throughout the country came out to defend their ideas, their rights, to say that in Argentina every life matters and that being born in Argentina should not be a right only for those who are wanted.”
The CNA noted that when pro-choice advocates began to promote their agenda in the country again this year, Argentines responded by holding the virtual March for Life event and drew nearly 400,000 participants.
Abortion groups openly disregarded those pro-life beliefs when pressuring the country to change its abortion laws, however.
The International Planned Parenthood Federation Western Hemisphere Region even boasted about having funded the radical abortion movement in Argentina.
“IPPFWHR has nurtured an ecosystem of feminist organizations and activists for more than 15 years that contributed to make today possible,” the group’s website said.
“IPPFWHR directly supports seven partners in Argentina, who in turn sub-grant funds to 20 other grassroots organizations from around the country,” the organization continued in a news release.
“They have been coalescing around shared activities, such as advocating with policymakers and ensuring strong communications in favor of abortion rights stayed prominent in the public discourse. They’re also actively planning how to best support the implementation of the new law.”
The development should be worrisome to other pro-life countries that have faced pressure to change their abortion laws.
In fact, now that Argentina has legalized elective abortion, pro-choice activists are setting their sights on other countries.
In an Op-Ed published in The Guardian this month, IPPFWHR director Giselle Carino praised the decriminalization of abortion in Argentina as a “transformative moment” for Latin American politics. She also referenced the “pro-choice mobilisations” taking place throughout the region.
Elective abortion is illegal in most of Latin America, as many of the countries there hold pro-life values.
Still, activists like those Carino mentioned have mobilized in recent years to radically alter abortion laws in countries like Chile, Colombia and Mexico.
According to Reuters, activists in Chile are hoping a new constitution might lead to the expansion of abortion laws, while pro-choice campaigners in Colombia have petitioned the constitutional court to remove abortion from the penal code.
As for Mexico, the rise of the first leftist government in roughly a century means activists will be unlikely to face major obstacles when pushing for the legalization of similar policies.
The activities of pro-abortion advocates across Latin America should serve as a wake-up call to pro-lifers, particularly in light of recent events in Argentina.
Pro-choice advocates will be victorious in expanding abortion regionally if they are not met with pro-life resistance through peaceful protests and petitions to political leaders.
There are few fights more important than the fight for life, and the pro-life movement will need to combat this abortion agenda with a well-prepared defense of the unborn.
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