Shortly before next week’s vote on the abortion bill in the Argentine National Senate, the Tucumán provincial legislature declared the province to be pro-life.
Of 43 provincial legislators, 39 voted in favor of the resolution Aug. 2. The resolution joins other decrees that have declared “pro-life” cities, including Concordia, San Salvador de Jujuy, Presidencia Roque Sáenz Pe√±a and San Fernando del Valle de Catamarca, among others.
The declaration comes just days ahead of the Aug. 8 Senate vote on a bill to broaden legalization of abortion in the country.
The abortion bill was passed 129-125 by the nation's lower house on June 14 and must be approved by the Senate before it can become law.
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.
The bill pending in the Senate would allow abortion on demand 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.
The pro-life declarations in Tucumán and other provinces are symbolic, as abortion will be legal nationwide if the bill is confirmed by the Senate.
However, lawmaker Sandra Mendoza, who helped introduce the initiative, stressed that the resolution reflects the beliefs of the majority of people in Tucumán, according to the Argentine Catholic Information Agency.
Mendoza said the pro-life position is not denominational or religious alone, but scientific, rational and ethical.
“The argument in favor of abortion, called 'the right to choose,' is false. It says nothing of the right to life of the one developing in the womb. The ideology in favor of abortion is trying to plant the idea that only one person exists, when science affirms there are two,” she said.
She added that “as people or human beings we're not the ones to decide who ought to live or die. Only the supreme being, who is our God, has that decision.”
Tucumán is one of the 23 provinces of Argentina, located in the country's northeast. It is comprised of 17 departments, 112 municipalities and rural districts, encompassing more than 1.5 million inhabitants.
This article was originally published by our sister agency, ACI Prensa. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.