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BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (ChurchMilitant.com) - While legislators in Argentina debate the elimination of protections for unborn human life, Argentina's minister of health, Dr. Ginés González García, appeared to inadvertently define abortion as the "greatest universal genocide" facing humanity.
In his online testimony Dec. 1 to the Committee on General and Criminal Legislation, Women, Diversity, Social Action and Public Health, Dr. González García — a surgeon who previously served as minister of health during the Peronist government under President Cristina Kirchner — answered questions regarding abortion posed by pro-life Congresswoman Dina Rezinovsky of the Republican Proposal Party.
He said: "Here there are not two lives as some say. Here it is clearly just one life and the other is a phenomenon ... it is one person and the other is a phenomenon ... I repeat, that it seems to me that [the language] is not used properly ... if it were not, we would be witnessing the greatest universal genocide."
Notable pro-life activist Mariana Rodríguez Varela told Church Militant that it was "overwhelming to hear a physician describe a baby inside a mother as a 'phenomenon.' This proves that what is next for them is to deny reality. We affirm that what is at stake is a child, and they know that it means murdering a person." She said that pro-lifers like herself are "grateful" to Dr. González García because he "affirmed what we have been saying for the longest time — that abortion is the worst genocide in history. In attempting to mock us, he said the truth."
Argentina's Congress is currently debating a law that would not only establish abortion as a right, but it would also allow abortion for girls as young as 13 years of age without parental consent and compel doctors to perform the procedure. The Argentine Senate turned down similar legislation in 2018, but President Alberto Fernández vows to see it through this time, relying on the majority Peronist Party in Congress.
Various non-governmental organizations, such as the United Nations, Planned Parenthood and Human Rights International have called on Argentina to eliminate controls on abortion.
Leftist feminists in the Argentine Congress said, for example, allowing "Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy" is a matter of "social justice," according to Peronist Congresswoman Monica Macha, who claimed that the number of clandestine abortions calls for federal regulation to guarantee safe abortions for "women and persons with the ability to gestate."
After Dr. González García's testimony, Rezinovsky replied on Twitter by posting a photo of a baby in utero and remarking, "This is a phenomenon. When it is older it will be a life, but for now, according to Gines, it is merely a phenomenon. Thanks for your academic concepts, Minister."
Congressman Francisco Sánchez was moved to issue a letter pointing out that Dr. González García had "denied the existence of human life from the moment of conception, which is to say he denied scientific evidence and the international treaties to which Argentina adheres."
Representing the Republican Proposal Party for the province of Neuquen, Sánchez wrote, "This statement is not only erroneous and inhumane, it has the clear intention of denying the existence of life to justify its subsequent elimination through the legalization of abortion, even up to the ninth month of pregnancy."
He called for the immediate resignation of the minister of health while referring to "millions of Argentines" who also reject abortion.
In conversation with Church Militant, pro-life advocate Marcela Errecalde of Argentina said that Dr. González García's "obscene" remarks are consonant with his efforts of more than a decade to extend abortion and contraception in Argentina. During his previous turn as health minister, the Argentine criminal code was modified to allow girls as young as 13 to request an abortion, while those younger could request the procedure without parental consent by consulting a health professional.
Errecalde pointed out that Congresswoman Vilma Ibarra of the leftist Front for a Country in Solidarity Party clearly displayed in her statements the ideological thread between abortion, homosexual "marriage" and LGBTQ issues. Ibarra introduced the abortion legislation to the lower house of the bicameral Congress in November and has been chosen to shepherd the measure through the body with the blessing of President Fernández.
Speaking immediately before Dr. González García, Ibarra reminded the legislators that Fernández promised to advance abortion legislation, which proponents claim would eliminate "thousands" of deaths of women and girls seeking clandestine abortions.
However, sociologist Dr. Maria Elena Critto disputed the statistics proffered by the pro-abortion faction. Called as an expert witness by pro-lifers in Congress, Dr. Critto spoke on the "myths versus official statistics" in reference to maternal death and abortion. Saying that legislation should be scientifically based, Dr. Critto addressed certain "myths:"
The first is that abortion is a public health priority. Let's look at the official health statistics for Argentina. In 2018, the last year that statistics are available, we see that there were 172,000 deaths of women, of which 8,000 were of women ages 15–42. Abortion represents 0.2% of deaths among women of fertile age and is ranked 58th in causes of death. If we look at all of the causes of death among women of all ages, abortion is 78th in ranking and represents 0.01% of causes of death.
Regarding maternal deaths, Critto testified that various non-governmental organizations have validated Argentina's official statistics:
Of the 257 maternal deaths in 2018 in general, 35 were caused by abortion, which includes all types of abortion. Nineteen were medical abortions, others were because of failed abortions or attempts. Among these 19 abortions, there may figure clandestine abortions. These represent 7% of the 257 preventable maternal deaths for 2018.
The sociologist said that between 2001 and 2018, maternal deaths related to abortion dropped by 72%. Critto added that international organizations have long advocated for better living conditions, education and medical care to address maternal deaths as opposed to expanding abortion. Moreover, she said that abortion does nothing to minimize maternal deaths, as confirmed by international studies. She invited Congress to review the official statistics.
In contrast to the pro-abortion Congressional committee, thousands of people turned out Nov. 28 in front of the Argentine capital building to denounce abortion. According to AP News, pro-life protester Lucrecia Robin said, "I have come today to defend life because I don't want innocent, defenseless human beings to be murdered in their mother's womb. Abortion is illegal, unsafe and expensive. It is illegal because there cannot be a legal right to kill a human being."