Hundreds Of Argentinian Doctors Protest Abortion Bill As It Nears Senate Vote

Grace Carr | Reporter

Hundreds of doctors have been protesting as Argentina nears passing a vote on a bill allowing women to have elective abortions up to 14 weeks in pregnancy.

“I’m a doctor, not a murderer,” read signs at a recent protest outside Argentina’s presidential palace, ABC reported Wednesday. The rally-goers also laid white lab coats on the ground outside the president’s residence.

“We see ever more doctors joining [the protests]” chief of obstetrics at Austral University Hospital Ernesto Beruti said, according to ABC. “Even if the law is passed, I’m not going to eliminate the life of a human being. The most important right is the right to live.”

The demonstrations come after Argentina’s lower house of Congress voted to legalize abortion until 14 weeks in pregnancy on June 14. The bill allows women to have abortions after 14 weeks in instances of rape or when the mother’s health is in danger. A minor who was raped would also be allowed to abort without having to inform her parents or the authorities under the proposed bill.

Like in Ireland, the proposed legislation would mandate that privately owned Catholic hospitals perform abortions without exception. Exceptions would be given only to individual conscientious objectors.

While leaders of the Argentina Medical Society have endorsed the bill, the country’s Academy of Medicine strongly rejects it, ABC reported.

“Nothing good can come when society chooses death as a solution,” the Academy of Medicine said in a statement.

“This is a great day for all women. Women are proud to be taking this step,” Silvia Lospennato, a lawmaker who voted for the bill, said after it passed the lower house. “Women are going to fight for equality, whatever it costs.” (RELATED: Argentinian ‘Handmaids’ Protest In Front Of Congress, Demand Abortion Become Legal)

Thousands of Argentinian pro-lifers gathered July 8 in front of Argentina’s most famous shrine, the Shrine of Our Lady of Lujan, to pray that the nation does not pass the proposed law legalizing abortion.

Argentina’s Senate will debate whether to pass the legislation on Aug. 8.

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