After abortion is legalised in Argentina, Catholic bishops decry chasm between politicians and the people

Credit: Charly Diaz Azcue – Comunicación Institucional

After the senate in Argentina legalised abortion in the early hours of yesterday, the Argentinean Bishops’ Conference released a statement accusing the country’s political leadership of being far away from the sentiment of the people and vowed to continue working “with firmness and passion in the care and service of life.”

The long-debated bill to legalise abortion presented by President Alberto Fernandez to fulfil a campaign promise was finally approved in the senate with 38 votes in favour, 29 against, 1 abstention, and 4 absences after 12 hours of debate. The bill was previously cleared by the house.

According to a November 2020 survey carried by independent pollster Giacobbe & Asociados, 60% of Argentinians opposed the law, while only 26.7% were in favour. But the law, one of the most permissive in the world and with no parallel in the region, was strongly supported by the media, TV personalities, and influencers.

“This law that has been voted will further deepen the divisions in our country”, said the bishops’ statement. “We deeply regret the remoteness of the leadership from the people’s feelings, which has been expressed in various ways in favour of life throughout our country.” Argentina saw indeed the largest pro-life peaceful marches in its history but was mostly ignored by the local press.

“We are certain that our people will always continue to choose all life and all lives. And together with our people, we will continue working for the authentic priorities that require urgent attention in our country.”  

The bishops also said that while focusing on legalising abortion, the government has failed “the boys and girls living in poverty in an increasingly alarming number, the many school dropouts, the pressing pandemic of hunger and unemployment that affects many families, as well as the dramatic situation of those retired, which in these hours see their rights violated once again.”

Finally, the statement expressed gratitude to “all the citizens and legislators who defended the care for all life.”

Source: CNA