Currently, the Catholic-majority nation only allows abortions in cases of rape or when the mother’s health is at risk. This bill would have allowed abortions within the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. The Senate voted 38 to 31 to block the bill.
While this was an encouraging decision in Argentina, Eric Verstraete, President of Life Matters Worldwide reminds, “This is not the end. This is certainly only the beginning of the continued fight that we have for the unborn…and we’re continuing to make strides to make our arguments more winsome, to make our arguments stronger on the pro-life side, have them be medically accurate so that we can just continue to build on the firm foundation from so many others who have gone before us.”
Argentinian lawmakers must now wait another year before they can submit new abortion legislation. As Christians and pro-life advocates continue their work, Verstraete says the conversation needs to go deeper.
“We can say abortion is wrong, which a lot of people would get on board with. But what does it really mean to be pro-life? How do we raise the level of value for humans? And do we see the unborn as a people group and say, ‘They’re a part of humanity and so we need to be fighting for them just as much’?”
Also, according to the BBC, tens of thousands of women in Argentina are hospitalized each year from self-attempted abortions. Most recently, a 34-year-old woman died after attempting to induce an abortion with parsley just days after the abortion bill was rejected.
Part of expanding the pro-life message includes reaching out to these women and even men as well who are struggling with unwanted pregnancies. The Church is in a unique position to offer care, compassion, and help with other options rather than abortion — options that can affirm the humanity and dignity both of unborn babies and their birth parents.
Verstraete emphasizes the best pro-life message we as believers can offer is the hope of the Gospel.
“We need to continue to have a firm foundation to fight from, and the best foundation that we can [have] is our faith in Jesus Christ, that He is the best pro-life message… If we build that as our foundation, He will give us the courage to continue to stand and fight for the unborn [and] for all members of society as we raise the level of human value to where it really needs to be.
“As we treat people with respect and love and honor, we’re going to build on this foundation so that all members of the human race are going to be respected, honored, and loved.”
Moving forward, Verstraete says, “I think the first thing that we all need to do is just stop and pray. The Senators in Argentina who rejected this bill are going to come under a lot of scrutiny. Their families are going to come under scrutiny. So we just want to really pray for them.”
Pray also for the Lord to use His Church to offer hope and change the hearts of men and women struggling with unwanted pregnancies. And thank God for the protected lives of unborn babies in Argentina.
Click here to learn more about Life Matters Worldwide and their pro-life resources!