Argentina court okays abortion in cases of rape


BUENOS AIRES—In a groundbreaking decision for the Catholic country, Argentina’s Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed that women can have an abortion if they fall pregnant after being raped.

“In these cases, doctors will no longer need a court approval. They will just need a statement from the victim or her lawyer testifying that she became pregnant as a result of being raped,” the court said in its unanimous ruling.

The Latin American nation’s highest court was backing the decision of a provincial court from southern Chubut “which in March 2010 authorized an abortion for the young A.G, who was 15, and who had become pregnant after being assaulted by her step-father,” the ruling said.

Until now, abortions were only allowed in Argentina — where 91 percent of people say they are Catholic — if women were judged to be mentally ill.

The supreme court president, Ricardo Lorenzetti, stressed however that the ruling “would not open the way” towards legalizing abortions, which is a decision within the purview of the Congress.

Justice Minister Julio Alak emphasized that the government did not intend to put forward any draft legislation to legalize abortion, saying it was “an issue which requires deep debate.”

Opposition lawmakers backed by women’s groups are hoping the issue of abortion will be debated by Congress this year.

According to pro-choice groups, about 700,000 illegal abortions are carried out every year in Argentina. The health ministry has said the figure stood at 470,000 in 2009. About 100 women a year are said to die during the procedure.

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • randyaltarejos

    If this Argentinian law is applicable in the Philippines, I’m sure legalizing abortion for raped victims will become a big issue for the Catholic Church. But isn’t Argentina a majority Catholic country, too? 

    • tamumd

      Didn’t you read above? It’s says “Argentina – where 91% of people say they’re catholics”. So they are as catholic a country as the Philippines..yet they allow abortion for rape victims and the mentally ill to happen!!! Those people are reasonable enough to not allow their faith to get in the way on what would best serve their citizens’ welfare and interest!

  • just_anotherperson

    It is not ok to kill the rapist but it is ok to kill the baby.

    • INQ_reader

      Did it ever say in the news that the rapist was not punished? Don’t go beyond the news contents.

      • just_anotherperson

        There is no death penalty in Argentina except for babies in the womb.

  • SimounIbarra

    The Church should now change it’s old views. The world is different now. Learn to adapt. As for the news, I do agree with it. 

  • Jomex

    in cases like these, let women have control over their reproductive cycle, and let women decide when to have a baby not chaste old men in white robes.

  • michael l

    what if, the clergy is the rapist? How many untold yet documented reports of the sexual abuse of the catholic clergies that has happened around the globe? Yet, just a statement issue from the Vatican, to just say…sorry for what happened? Can victims accept on that?

  • raijin_jr

    im not a catholic but for me, no amount of reasons can justify the ending of a life of an innocent.

  • Manuel_II

    I agree with this, we should implement this in the Philippines for the same case, the women has her own life to live too. 

    • Mux

      What about the baby’s life? So a mother should be allowed to kill her child so she can have a life. That’s what abortion is, killing a child. Plain and simple. 

      • Manuel_II

        What if the girl is married, do you want to force the husband to raise the child as his own, there is no justice in that.  

        Rape is Rape, the mother doesnt want to be rape nor she wanted to get pregnant by it, consider her situation, it should be her decision and her’s alone, no one amongst us should force her what to do, however, we should open up all option for her.

        I would not agree to abortion on any other reason, only for Rape Cases, if the Mother’s life is in danger or if the mother is incapable.  All the rest i have to agree on no Abortion.

      • Mux

         They can have the baby and give it up for adoption.

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks



latest videos