Argentina pro-life pregnancy service falsely accused of holding minor ‘captive’

CNA Staff   By CNA Staff


null / Credit: Aditya Romansa/Unsplash

CNA Newsroom, Jan 11, 2023 / 16:15 pm (CNA).

The pro-life referral service Grávida (Pregnant) Santa Fe in Argentina issued a statement clarifying erroneous information about the assistance provided to a pregnant minor, a victim of rape, and her mother, insisting that both voluntarily sought pro-life help.

Various media outlets have recently charged that on Jan. 2, the civil association Grávida held a pregnant girl and her mother “captive” in one of its offices the day she was going to get an abortion.

Grávida Santa Fe refuted the allegation and pointed out that the referral service “doesn’t have its own offices or house” in the capital or in another part of the province.

Bethany House, located in the city of Santa Fe, where the girl and her mother stayed, is owned by the Servant Sisters of Jesus the Worker, the association clarified.

The place is not Grávida’s office or a shelter for pregnant women in vulnerable situations, the pro-life organization explained, reiterating that the mother and the minor, who during this week were helped by Grávida, stayed there “freely and voluntarily.”

Both received assistance beginning Jan. 2 “thanks to the generous and disinterested collaboration of the Sisters,” Grávida pointed out.

They were offered “a suitable place to stay” there while the minor, who is 24 weeks pregnant, underwent medical studies ordered by the doctor.

Lawyers for Life reacts

The Lawyers for Life Civil Association of the city of Rosario in Santa Fe province issued a statement on the media’s allegations and expressed its concern about the affront and the intention to “disqualify the activity and existence” of pro-life organizations.

The lawyers group pointed out that unborn children are persons protected by the constitution and international treaties, which have equal legal force, and consequently unborn life “must be guaranteed by the state.”

For the pro-life lawyers, the Access to Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy law enacted in 2020 is “unconstitutional” and “creates a false right to abortion.”

The law allows abortion on demand up to 14 weeks of pregnancy, and beyond that time frame in cases of rape or if there is risk to the life of the mother.

Lawyers for Life charged that far from allowing the supposed “on demand and voluntary” abortion, the Argentine state “considers that every raped woman is obliged to abort, even against her will.”

The association also pointed out that the organizations that defend life in Argentina act within the framework of the National Law on (Medical) Services and Comprehensive Health Care during Pregnancy and Early Childhood.

Operating within the framework of this law, Lawyers for Life stated that there are “institutions like Grávida that offer care to pregnant women, especially the most vulnerable.”

This happens, they added, “because in most cases the state plays no part or is dedicated simply to offering abortion as the only alternative.

“Or what’s worse: the state is dedicated to imposing it as mandatory,” Lawyers for Life said.

Finally, the association called for respect for those who defend “human life from conception to natural death.”

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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