Two judicial decisions regarding abortion in the case of rape, Argentina.
|Article Type:||Brief article|
|Publication:||Name: Reproductive Health Matters Publisher: Elsevier Science Publishers Audience: General Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Family and marriage; Health; Women's issues/gender studies Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2010 Reproductive Health Matters ISSN: 0968-8080|
|Issue:||Date: Nov, 2010 Source Volume: 18 Source Issue: 36|
|Topic:||Event Code: 980 Legal issues & crime Advertising Code: 94 Legal/Government Regulation Computer Subject: Company legal issue|
|Product:||Product Code: 9101312 Rape NAICS Code: 92212 Police Protection|
|Geographic:||Geographic Scope: Argentina Geographic Code: 3ARGE Argentina|
In March 2010, the Supreme Court of Chubut, Argentina, decided two
cases in which they established that, under the National Criminal Code,
abortion is never punishable in the case of rape. The decisions are
important because they accept that the decriminalisation of abortion
extends to all rape victims and not exclusively to mentally retarded
In December 2009, AG, a 15-year-old girl accompanied by her mother, reported to the police that her mother's partner had raped her. A few weeks later, AG learned she was pregnant. For more than two months, AG and her mother faced obstacles to obtaining an abortion. Two courts initially refused them authorisation on the grounds that (i) abortion in cases of rape was not permitted when the rape victim was not mentally retarded, (ii) it could cause more damage to the girl's health than the risk of continuation of pregnancy, and (iii) that the right to life of the fetus prevailed over the teenager's fight. The Supreme Court of Chubut ordered that the abortion be performed, emphasising the constitutional protection of the fights to physical, mental and personal dignity, and the autonomy of AG. In addition, the Court abundantly quoted international human fights sources such as CEDAW. The Court suggested that the province should regulate and guarantee access to non-punishable abortions through a local protocol. During the AG case, another case of a 15-year old pregnant rape victim, M, reached the Chubutean health system. Four days after the Supreme Court of Chubut had approved AG's abortion, a judge denied the request filed by M and her mother. A week later, the Court of Appeals (which had not authorised AG's abortion the month before) changed its position and authorised M's abortion. M had waited almost three months. These cases may pave the way for changes that will help to avoid future refusals of legal abortions. (1)
(1.) Bergallo P. Two judicial decisions regarding abortion in the case of rape from Chubut, Argentina. International Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Listserve, Center for Reproductive Rights, 16 April 2010.
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