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News > Argentina

Argentina: Macri's Gov't To Fund Anti-Abortion Religious Groups

  • Activists hold up green handkerchiefs, which symbolize the abortion rights movement, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Feb. 19, 2019.

    Activists hold up green handkerchiefs, which symbolize the abortion rights movement, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Feb. 19, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 8 March 2019

Religious activists against legal, safe and free abortion will be funded by public resources.

Two days before the Argentine Congress discusses again a law that could save thousands of women's lives, President Mauricio Macri administration signed an agreement to finance Christian and Catholic activists who oppose the right to legal, safe and free abortion.

Argentina Stages a 'Green Action Day' for the Right to Abortion

The Ministry of Health and Social Development will fund religious organizations working on "women who are going through unexpected pregnancies". To that end, a "National Network of Accompaniment to Women with Vulnerable Pregnancies" is to be promoted.

Confirmed by religious groups opposing sexual and reproductive rights, this Network includes organizations such as Aciera and Gravida whose militants enter public hospitals to convince women not to perform an abortion. This psychological offensive is disguised as an "accompaniment and containment" task.

The conservative network defines its methods as a "proactive approach to women in a situation of unintended pregnancy", which includes advice on what to do with the child in the future.

"The counseling will work with two hypotheses: 'raise your child' or 'give it up for adoption'. After childbirth, there will be 'guidance', which will consist of emotional, social, health, legal and, as far as possible, economic support to women during the baby's upbringing," Pagina 12, a local media outlet, reported and explained that the so-called 'proactive approach' will also mean "counseling to each woman in life values and planning of future pregnancies."

This state-backed private network, which is expected to receive a US$31,469-startup budget, will use an 0800-line to communicate with more than 100 public health centers, where the "pregnant women in vulnerable conditions" will be approached.

The Network will begin a campaign in May so that all Argentine churches can take on "the challenge of providing moms with the necessary elements to care for their babies."

This public policy happens "in a country where thousands cling to the poverty line to avoid falling even more, where the president lies and nobody cares, and where a femicide occurs every 30 hours," Al Reves, a local media, said denouncing that those conservative sectors "force raped girls to be mothers against their will, despite the fact that the Penal Code decriminalizes abortion in rape cases and the Supreme Court issued an order against prosecuting those cases."

Pagina 12 mentioned that the Ministry of Health decision not only prevents the full application of the Belem do Para Convention, an international human rights instrument which seeks a free-violence life for women and urges the Argentine State to guarantee in a timely manner access to legal interruption of pregnancy.

"The State wants girl incubators," Soledad Vallejo, a Pagina 12 colaborator, said referring to President Macri administation's support for the anti-women's rights network.

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