The pro-life community in Argentina is celebrating following an astonishing Senate vote Thursday in which a bid to widely legalize abortion was slapped down.
After an extensive debate, 38 senators voted against it and 31 in favor. Abortion can be sought in Argentina only in cases of rape, or if the mother’s health is in danger. Those advocating on behalf of the unborn hailed the vote as an unbridled victory.
“It’s a joy to see that our society can be based on such an important principle as the defense of the most defenseless, the child,” said one pro-life campaigner, according to the BBC.
Many pro-choice protesters, however, turned violent following the vote, starting fires and throwing missiles at the police. The country’s pro-abortion camp has been desperate to bring about the liberalization of abortion laws for a number of years, but have come up against a staunch opponent in the form of the Catholic Church.
However, when pro-abortion President Mauricio Macri took power in 2015, the lobbyists found their hope renewed. When he called on Congress to consider a vote on the subject, it narrowly passed in the lower house, sending a wave of optimism through the pro-abortion community.
A full passing of the controversial bill, though, appeared to be a step too far for the country from which Pope Francis hails.
Pope Francis was the Bishop of Buenos Aires before he rose to the top spot in the hierarchy of Catholic leadership, and there is no doubt that he was actively involved in the effort to block the liberal bill from getting through. He was reported to have personally called on pro-life legislators to lobby their Senate colleagues.
The Catholic Church, of which 80 percent of the population claim affiliation, mobilized support for the pro-life cause throughout the South American nation. An enormous “Mass for Life” was held at Buenos Aires, and clergy preached strongly against what the Church deems the “intrinsically evil” practice of abortion.
Abortion “will always be a tragedy” and is “far from being a solution,” said Cardinal Mario Aurelio Poli at the massive event, according to the Guardian. He implored senators to “safeguard the right to life of all, especially the weakest and most vulnerable.”
“The church, the key player that managed to stop the law,” read the headline of the largest newspaper in Argentina, Clarin, on Thursday.
Back in June, Pope Francis made reference to abortion as the “white glove” version of Nazi-era eugenics.
“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.
One thing is for sure: when the Church gets involved in these matters, it carries a lot of weight. Unfortunately, such as was the case in the Irish abortion referendum in May, when the integrity of the Church is compromised, its witness is diminished and its voice becomes muted on these crucial issues of our time.
The Senate vote means that lawmakers will be forced to wait until next year to resubmit legislation. For now, however, it is a big win for the pro-life community and will bolster the Church’s confidence to get involved in matters of public discourse.
Wonderful news: Argentina Senate REJECTS bill to legalize abortion.
A huge win for human life and an example to the world of what’s possible when people of goodwill mobilize against evil – thank you, Argentina, for protecting LIFE!#SalvemosLas2Vidas https://t.co/GCfdbvNjz4
— Lila Rose (@LilaGraceRose) August 9, 2018
“The message that we wanted to put across is that abortion equals social failure. For a woman to resort to it, many other things need to have failed first.” said Camila Duro of the anti-abortion non-governmental organization, Frente Joven.
Another pro-life activist added: “Abortion always kills a child and it doesn’t solve the woman’s problem. We believe that this is never the solution. Faced with an unexpected pregnancy abortion is never the solution. There are always other solutions.”