Argentine Judge Blocks Sexual-Health Program

Pro-life Group Says Plan Was Imposed by World Bank and IMF

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BUENOS AIRES, FEB. 12, 2003 (Zenit.org).- A judge blocked the implementation of a government "sexual health" program which includes provisions for chemical abortions.



Federal Judge Cristina Garzón de Lascano of Cordoba ordered the Ministry of Health and Social Action on Tuesday "to abstain from executing the National Program of Sexual Health and Responsible Procreation," especially some of its most controversial parts.

On Dec. 11, Cristina González de Delgado, president of Women for Life, a pro-life group, rejected the program and contended that it infringes on three fundamental rights.

First, the program attacked the right to life by permitting abortifacient medication, she said.

Second, it violated the right to health by providing for the massive and indiscriminate distribution of anti-conception elements that are harmful to women, González added.

Third, the program infringed on the right of parents to watch over the sexual education of their children, she said.

Women for Life revealed that the "law was an imposition on our country, on the part of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund." The economic crisis has obliged Argentina to depend on the financial help of these two institutions.

The organization presented the reports of the World Bank, on the limits of the law and on strategies of assistance to the country, as evidence. The reports mention "reproductive health" as a fundamental element of the World Bank's strategy of assistance to Argentina.

An attorney for Women for Life, Jorge Scala, explained that with the judge's decision Argentina will not be able to use the "$25.5 million which the Ministry announced would be allocated to the purchase of contraceptives, nor send contraceptives to the provinces to advance in the program."

Scala lamented what he called a "waste" of money, saying that it was "particularly cynical, when children are dying of malnutrition, the public health system is dismantled, and there is no medication for people in need."