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Thousands of Argentinians gathered at their country’s most famous shrine on July 8 to pray that an abortion bill would not be passed.
The battle to protect unborn babies in Argentina was punctuated by significant turnout at a Catholic Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of Lujan, where the faithful came to pray that the passage of a bill legalizing abortion would not come to fruition, Crux reports.
Bishop Oscar Ojea denounced the bill during the Mass, stating, “Abortion is not a right but a tragedy.”
Miles de personas se
juntaron hoy en Luján
para pedir que
y decir #NoAlAborto .
Los medios lo ocultaron. Prefirieron seguir hablando de las propinas de Carrió, el Sachet de leche de Georgina Barbarrosa y la falsa libertad de Lula Da Silva
RT que se sepa pic.twitter.com/ lLPAbIPRDQ
— El Anti Opereta (@ChauOperetaK) July 8, 2018
The proposed legislation, which is scheduled to be debated in the Argentine Senate on Aug. 8, would allow women to have abortions until the ninth month of pregnancy, according to the report. For instance, if a 16-year-old girl was raped and became pregnant, she could have an abortion up to nine months without informing her parents or authorities.
Archbishop León Kalenga Badikebele said as a Church, “we’re perplexed and hurt,” because it would be “the first time that in Argentina, during democratic times, a bill that legitimizes the elimination of a human being by another human being is passed.”
Furthermore, critics of the proposed legislation found that the bill would protect abusers, for they could evade justice by simply arranging abortions for their victims without anyone knowing.
If the bill is passed in Argentina, it would make the nation one of the first South American countries to legalize abortion. On the continent, the practice of aborting unborn babies is mostly illegal. This legislation is even more significant due to the fact that Pope Francis is from Argentina.
Defenders of the bill have accused the Catholic Church of trying to “pressure” the country, pointing to Sunday’s Mass. The Mass preceded an abortion rally, which took place the following day. Church representatives also issued a statement on June 25, which said the bill “is legalizing the elimination of the most defenseless life, the one which grows in the mother’s womb.”
Furthermore, Catholic Church representatives said they are receiving pressure from the government as well, noting that the bill would force privately-owned Catholic hospitals to perform abortions.
Last month, the lower house in Argentina passed a bill in a narrow 129-123 vote allowing for “free, legal and safe” abortions until 14 weeks. The bill—and abortion —is supported by organizations like the George Soros-funded Human Rights Watch, which also backed the legalization of abortion in Ireland.
More than 2,000 lawyers from all parts of Argentina presented a formal complaint about the bill to the Senate, arguing that it is unconstitutional because Argentina’s constitution defines conception as the beginning of life. In addition, more than 700,000 signatures had been presented to the lower house, asking for a different bill that would protect the lives of both the mother and child.
Despite their government’s attempts to legalize abortion, Argentinians defending life at all stages refuse to back down without a fight. This past weekend’s mass was a rallying cry for citizens that #TodaVidaVale (“every life has value”).