The law that allows abortion in Argentina has not been completed for a month and has already suffered its first legal setback. A judge suspended the application of the rule, approved by the federal legislature, throughout the territory of the province of Chaco, in the north of the country, after an injunction presented by a conservative group.
Magistrate Marta Aucar, from the 19th Chaco Court, took a precautionary measure and decided to suspend law enforcement in the region until the main action was resolved.
According to the Argentinian newspaper Clarín, the trial is a request for the declaration of unconstitutionality of the law, with the argument that the Constitution of the province of Chaco guarantees “the right to life and liberty, from conception, for all and that, as this is a concurrent jurisdiction of the province with the Nation, the most favorable interpretation of the law must prevail.
The practice of abortion “restricts, denigrates, violent, limits and alters the existence, exercise and enjoyment of the right to life of the unborn child, protected by our legal system from its conception”, specifies the claim.
To take effect, the decision must be officially notified to the province of Chaco, which can appeal.
The law that legalized abortion in Argentina until the 14th week of pregnancy was approved on December 30, in a landmark decision for the region, and promulgated by the country’s president, Alberto Fernández, on January 14.
For lawyer Soledad Deza, the injunction “has no legal basis, is doomed to failure”. Consulted by AFP, the lawyer explained that “Argentina is a federation, so it would not be legitimate for the Chaco to have a human rights standard below the rest of the provinces”.
“What this implies, in legal terms, is to ignore constitutional supremacy in our form of political organization,” he added.
To resolve the dispute, the case can go through several instances, from the Chaco Appeals Chamber to the Supreme Court of Justice. And “the times of justice in Argentina are slow,” says Deza.
The lawyer fears that a case similar to that in the province of Cordoba will occur, where the conservative NGO Portal de Belén has managed to suspend for seven years the application of the legal termination of pregnancy in cases of rape or risk of life for the mother, in force since 1921, through a court injunction, which was ultimately rejected by a court.