Faith

Argentina Stands Firmly for Life in Senate Vote — ‘I’m a Doctor, Not a Murderer’

Pope's homeland, with a predominantly Roman Catholic population, decides against legalizing abortion despite protests

Abortion remains a hot-button issue here in America — Planned Parenthood stops short of almost nothing to promote the brutal procedure to future generations — yet some other countries are making solid gains toward protecting the preborn.

In a big win for the international pro-life movement, the Senate of Argentina on Thursday rejected a bill that would have dismantled the country’s constitutional protections for most preborn babies and would legalize abortion during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy, LifeSiteNews reported.

The bill would have also legalized late-term abortions in cases of fetal deformity, or to protect a mother’s “psychological” health. Argentina currently permits abortions only for rape or threats to a mother’s life.

The home of soccer superstars Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona and the birthplace of Pope Francis — he hails from Buenos Aires, the country’s capital city — Argentina has a religious makeup that is predominantly Roman Catholic. The country’s chamber of deputies approved the legislation by a vote of 129-123 in June, and the Senate also preliminarily approved the bill last week.

But in an interesting turn of events, Sen. Silvina García Larraburu withdrew her support for the bill, citing her “most intimate convictions.”

Related: Magazine Coaches Women on How to ‘Relax’ During an Abortion

Pro-life demonstrators opposed the legislation, including hundreds of doctors — some of whom waved signs declaring, “I’m a doctor, not a murderer,” and they put down their white medical coats outside the presidential palace to affirm that abortion is incompatible with their chosen profession.

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Still, in an aim to sway public opinion in favor of the legislation, Amnesty International placed an ad in The New York Times featuring a coat hanger, claiming complications from illegal abortions are “the leading cause of maternal deaths in Argentina.” That’s a claim that’s disputed by Arlington, Virginia-based Americans United for Life in a 2012 report on the state of abortion in Latin America, according to LifeSiteNews.

Demonstrators were out in force in Argentina, of course. “One woman who was demonstrating in favor of abortion rights in Buenos Aires before the vote used Instagram to express her frustration at the result. ‘Today no one won,’ wrote the women who posts under the name Veronnica Diaz,” as CNN reported. “‘The abortions WILL KEEP HAPPENING, the women will continue to die in clandestine abortions and your Neanderthal position of ‘saving two lives’ in a comfortable social inequality will continue without saving ANY LIFE.'”

See the protests over the vote in the video, below.

Here in the U.S., Lila Rose, founder and president of Live Action, a leading pro-life organization based in Washington, D.C., heaped praise on the decision in a tweet.

“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.”

Elizabeth Economou is a former CNBC staff writer and adjunct professor. Follow her on Twitter.

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