Argentina Supreme Court OK’s sex slave’s abortion

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“We urgently need a law to avoid victimizing the woman in these kinds of cases,” Vicente said. “It’s absolutely necessary to openly debate the abortion issue, and establish a national law that enables women to decide what to do with their bodies.”

The Senate in neighboring Uruguay was expected to hold a final vote Wednesday on a law that would enable any Uruguayan resident to get a first-trimester abortion for any reason. Adult women wouldn’t need court approval, but would have to justify their decisions before a medical panel and then wait five days before undergoing the procedure. The measure reflects political compromises reached after years of debate.

In Argentina, meanwhile, a proposed national law to loosen abortion restrictions, introduced for the fourth time three years ago, remains stuck in committee. That leaves the capital and every province to come up with their own solutions matching the high court’s ruling in March.

This woman’s case came up because Macri had announced plans to veto the city legislature’s abortion measure, saying it went beyond the court’s rulings by enabling minors to get abortions without parental approval and declining to include a conscience exemption for medical professionals who don’t want to participate. The mayor cited her situation in a speech as an example of how the city should provide abortions in certain cases.

President Cristina Fernandez has been outspoken in support of protecting women from the sex trade. But she is personally opposed to abortion and has not made legalizing it a priority.

Vicente predicts that Congress won’t act until the president urges it to. Diaz won’t go that far.

“Thanks to this president, Argentina has advanced with very important laws _ marriage equality, gender identification, death with dignity. The debate over abortion will happen. It’s more complicated; it’s not easy. The president is against it, but she’s also said it’s a matter for the Congress to decide,” Diaz said.

“I think we’re getting close, but you have to look at this debate in terms of religious politics in Latin America. The Catholic forces opposed to abortion are so strong that they barely got it passed in Uruguay, which is the least religious country in the region.”

Meanwhile Friday in La Plata, the capital of Buenos Aires province, Diaz said, another rape victim was turned away when doctors told her the entire hospital had a conscientious objection to forming abortions.

“This is really serious,” Diaz said. “What this amounts to is a refusal to comply with government policies.”

Later Friday, the provincial public hospitals director, Claudio Ortiz, announced that the woman was able to get her abortion after all Friday morning, and clarified that “the hospitals guarantee the realization of this practice, even though there may be conscientious objectors” among the staff.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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