A group of pro-life Argentinian doctors have vowed that they are willing to go to prison should they be forced into performing abortion procedures. Hundreds of physicians have held pro-life demonstration as a bill to widely legalize terminations makes its way to the Southern American country’s senate next week.
The medics waved flags that declared: “I’m a doctor, not a murderer” as they took to the streets to speak out against the liberalizing of abortion in the Catholic-majority country. Despite the fact Argentina already allows abortion up to 14 weeks, those supporting the law change believe it should be a woman’s right to have an elective abortion at any time up to this point.
“This is a great day for all women. Women are proud to be taking this step,” said Silvia Lospennato, a lawmaker who voted for the bill, according to the Daily Caller. “Women are going to fight for equality, whatever it costs.”
Private hospitals believe that the new law may prevent doctors from opting out of performing the deathly procedure. “Doctors can’t work under the threat of prison time,” said Maria de los Angeles Carmona, head of gynecology at the state-run Eva Peron Hospital, according to CBN News.
Others are concerned that doctors who object to conducting terminations on moral grounds will be discriminated against in the workplace. “How far are we willing to go to? Jail,” said Ernesto Beruti, chief of obstetrics at the Austral University Hospital. “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 Argentinian Academy of Medicine are also vehemently opposed to the new legislation. “To destroy a human embryo means impeding the birth of a human being,” they said in a statement. “Nothing good can come when society chooses death as a solution.”
At the start of last month, thousands of pro-life campaigners gathered at the infamous Shrine of Our Lady of Lujan, in the Argentinian capital of Buenos Aires. “Abortion is not a right but a tragedy,” Bishop Oscar Ojea bellowed to the massive crowd.
Archbishop León Kalenga Badikebele also addressed the crowd. “A bill that legitimizes the elimination of a human being by another human … is not the solution for anybody,” he said.
Pope Francis has yet make specific comment on the abortion referendum, despite Argentina being as much as 90% Catholic. He has, however, widely condemned abortion as a whole. “Last century, the whole world was scandalized by what the Nazis did to purify the race. Today, we do the same thing but with white gloves,” he said of the sordid practice in comments made on June 16.
He added that abortion was, unequivocally, the “murder of children.”