Argentinean bishops decry approval of abortion in cases of rape

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Bishops in Argentina condemned a March 13 ruling by the country's Supreme Court legalizing abortion in cases of rape.

“Abortion is the taking of an innocent life, and there is no reason that can justify the elimination of an innocent life, not even in the tragic and sad case of rape,” Archbishop Jose Maria Arancedo of Santa Fe, president of the Argentinean bishops' conference, told AICA news agency.

Tuesday's ruling by the Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling from the province of Chubut in 2010 that authorized an abortion for a 15 year-old girl who was raped. The measure now requires a sworn statement as opposed to a court order for abortions to be carried out in cases of sexual coercion.

“In no case should doctors require court authorization to carry out these kinds of abortions,” the high court said, adding that physicians should “exclusively require a sworn statement by the victim or her legal representative, which states that the pregnancy is the result of rape.”

In response to the move, however, local Church leaders such as Archbishop Hector Aguer of La Plata warned that the ruling would set a dangerous precedent that could lead to the legalization of abortion under any circumstance.
 
Archbishop Arancedo additionally pointed to an August 2011 statement from the bishops' conference affirming that “abortion is never the solution” and that “when a woman is pregnant, we are talking about two lives, not one.”

In their statement, the bishops expressed their desire to “listen, accompany and understand each situation, to ensure that all members of society take responsibility for caring for life, so that both the child and the mother are respected without falling into false choices.”

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