Argentina abortion bill postponed until 2021

The Argentine Government has put plans to introduce abortion legislation on hold until 2021.  

President Alberto Fernández vowed he would introduce abortion in his state-of-the-nation speech on 1 March 2020 and that a bill would enter Congress within the following 10 days.

In the ensuing months, amid the coronavirus pandemic, the government announced on multiple occasions that the bill was ready for presentation.

However, according to reports there was no consensus within the Cabinet and now the Bill has been delayed until 2021.

Chief of the Cabinet of Ministers Santiago Cafiero told the Buenos Aires Times that “although the government’s intention was always clear with respect to abortion,” until the pandemic can be brought under control, abortion legislation is not a priority for the Government.

He added that the idea was to debate the bill without restrictions in either Congress or the public arena, with full social participation.

Vice-President Cristina Fernández Kirchner, as well as the Cabinet, reportedly all support the bill’s postponement.

Currently abortion is allowed in Argentina in cases of rape or if the mother’s health is in danger.

Two years ago, Argentina’s Senate rejected a Bill that would have introduced abortion up to 14 weeks in the country.

Last year, almost two million people joined pro-life demonstrations across Argentina under the theme “In Defense of the Two Lives.”

There was a “palpable spirit of celebration, of joy, with families rallying together, as well as an overwhelming presence of young people,” Carolina Brown, one of the march organizers, told Crux: “Seeing that young people are the ones who will have to continue fighting, seeing them come out in numbers, joining friends, is a reason for hope.”This year, Argentina’s digital March for Life drew 390,000 participants on Facebook alone, according to preliminary numbers from march organizers.

Government Minister reveals temporary measure allowing ‘DIY’ home abortions in UK will be reviewed

Temporary measures allowing ‘DIY’ home abortions are to be reviewed as part of a public consultation that will be run by the UK Government, following mounting safety concerns – including a murder investigation and the death of two women.

In the biggest change to abortion law since 1967, the UK Government announced on 30 March it would temporarily allow ‘DIY’ home abortions.

The very substantial change, which was made without any public consultation, parliamentary scrutiny or debate, was meant to last for the next two years or until the COVID-19 pandemic is over.

However, Lord Bethell has told the Mirror there will be a public consultation “on permanent home use of both pills for early medical abortion”.

The disclosure has since been confirmed by Health Minister Helen Whately who, in response to a parliamentary question from pro-life MP Carla Lockhart, said: “The Government has committed to undertake a public consultation on making permanent the COVID-19 measure allowing for home use of both pills for early medical abortion up to 10 weeks gestation for all eligible women. The current COVID-19 measure will be kept in place until the public consultation concludes and a decision has been made.”

The Sunday Mirror has revealed that “up to 90,000 women” have used ‘DIY’ home abortion services since policy was introduced.

Significant problems

Since ‘DIY’ home abortions were introduced, a number of significant problems have arisen.

According to a leaked “urgent email” sent by a regional chief midwife at NHS England and NHS Improvement on the “escalating risks” of ‘DIY’ home abortions, two women have died after taking ‘DIY’ home abortion pills.

The email leak also revealed police have opened a murder investigation into the death of a baby who they believe was born alive despite her mother taking ‘DIY’ home abortion pills. 

A nationwide undercover investigation found evidence of abortion providers putting women at significant risk by not carrying out basic checks before sending them ‘DIY’ home abortion pills.

The study also discovered ‘DIY’ home abortion pills can easily be obtained and administered to others, potentially in a coercive manner.

In May, it was revealed UK police were investigating the death of an unborn baby after its mother took ‘DIY’ home abortion pills while 28 weeks pregnant.

In addition, abortion provider BPAS announced that it was investigating a further eight cases of women taking ‘DIY’ home abortion pills beyond the 10-week limit, raising questions over what checks are being conducted to ensure the law isn’t being broken and dangerous later-term abortions aren’t happening. 

A number of women have also come forward to share the serious problems they’ve experienced after taking ‘DIY’ home abortion pills.

One woman said she went through “hell” and thought she was going to die after taking the dangerous pills.

Another woman said the pain and physical process was “horrible” and “a lot worse than expected”.

Full inquiry into ‘DIY’ home abortions announced

Last month, in a victory for pro-life campaigners, a radical amendment to the Domestic Abuse Bill, that would have allowed ‘DIY’ home abortions to take place on a permanent basis for domestic abuse victims, was withdrawn.

During the debate, pro-life MP Fiona Bruce MP put forward an amendment calling on the Government to conduct an “an inquiry into the safety, number, and impact of abortions carried out under the temporary coronavirus crisis provisions where the place of abortion was the woman’s home”.

The Government subsequently agreed to a full inquiry. But, Minister for Women, Victoria Atkins MP, promised that the current temporary policy of allowing ‘DIY’ home abortions would continue “until [a] public consultation concludes and a decision has been made”.

Fiona Bruce told CNA: “It is to be hoped, and we need to ensure, that this review — consultation — will properly and fairly highlight safety concerns around the taking of ‘at-home abortion pills’ which have been highlighted in recent press reports.”

‘Inherently dangerous’

A spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson said: “Ever since the UK Government permitted ‘DIY’ home abortions, stories of illegal late-term abortions and safety abuses have come to light.

“We, along with other pro-life campaigners, warned it was only a matter of time before a woman died as a result of a ‘DIY’ home abortion. Tragically, that is now the case.

“These cases and the thirteen ongoing investigations are likely only the tip of the iceberg, given the date of the leaked email.

“Abortion providers, such as BPAS and Marie Stopes International, who want to keep ‘DIY’ home abortions on a permanent basis, are unlikely to want to reveal how many complications or serious incidents have arisen as a result of their ‘services’.

“There are also likely many more incidents that abortion providers don’t know about as the majority of women are likely to not come back and tell an abortion provider that they have broken the law using their service or weren’t even aware how far along they were, given they have not had an ultrasound.

“These ‘DIY’ home abortion schemes, which are inherently dangerous and show no concern for babies or vulnerable pregnant women, should be suspended immediately and not introduced on a permanent basis.”

Right To Life UK has launched an online tool allowing UK residents to contact their local MPs and call for an immediate end to ‘DIY’ home abortions following the deaths of two women.

What is a public consultation?

A public consultation is a process used by the Government, and other public bodies, which invites the public to provide their views and feedback on a particular proposal.

In the majority of consultations, responses can be submitted by both individuals and organisations.

Consultations last for a proportionate amount of time and consist of a limited number of clear, concise questions.

A consultation should help scrutinise a proposal and give an indicator of its public approval.

Action alert: Push to introduce assisted suicide

You may have seen in the media recently that pro-assisted suicide MPs are making it clear they are going to attempt to change the law on assisted suicide.

To ensure MPs are aware of the serious issues with introducing assisted suicide, the All-Party Parliamentary Pro-Life Group have organised a meeting for MPs on assisted suicide on Thursday 10 September.

In this meeting, MPs will have the opportunity to hear from those who have experienced the harsh reality of the legalisation of assisted suicide in the Netherlands and North America. 

Speakers will include Professor Theo Boer and Wesley Smith. Professor Boer was previously a strong supporter of euthanasia and assisted suicide, serving on a Dutch Regional Review Committee on Euthanasia, reviewing cases of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide to determine if they took place legally. This experience resulted in Professor Boer becoming one of the most vocal critics of the Dutch euthanasia law. Wesley Smith, a trained attorney, will discuss his experiences of Oregon and Washington – where assisted suicide is legal – highlighting the dangers and unintended consequences that have occurred. 

TAKE ACTION – EMAIL YOUR MP

Please click the button below to email your MP, requesting that they attend the meeting on Thursday 10 September so they can hear from people who have direct experience of the grim reality of the legalisation of assisted suicide. It only takes 30 seconds.

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