Argentina: Abortion is legal for rape victims

Congratulations to Mercedes Cavallo , an LL.M. graduate of our International Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Programme, and her colleagues at the Asociación por los Derechos Civiles (ADC, Association for Civil Rights) in Argentina.  In collaboration with Centro de Estudios de Estado y Sociedad (CEDES, Center for the Study of State and Society),  the ADC coordinated several amicus briefs to the Supreme Court of Argentina which recently clarified that legal abortion must be made available to all Argentine rape victims.  The following letter of thanks to contributors provides a summary and basic background of the case:

Dear colleagues and friends,

We are pleased to announce that the Supreme Court of Argentina has issued a ruling clarifying the scope of the abortion law in Argentina. The Court stated that art. 86 of the Criminal Code allows abortion on the grounds of rape.   Moreover, the Court established that no judicial authorization is needed prior to the abortion.   In addition, the Court exhorted the State to implement local and national protocols for the provision of safe abortion in these cases.

In March 2010, the Supreme Court of Chubut had ruled that abortion is permitted under the rape ground in the A.G. case. A.G. was a 15-year old girl who became pregnant after being raped by her stepfather.  After the abortion was performed, the Public Defender, representing the fetus, had appealed the ruling before the National Supreme Court.  The case at this instance, was renamed “F., A.L.”  The Defender argued that the right to life of the fetus had been violated.

The Association for Civil Rights in Argentina (ADC) and the Public Health branch of CEDES coordinated the submission of several amicus curiae briefs from different organizations. We are very thankful to all contributors to this important step towards women’s rights.

Cheers, Alvaro Herrero y Mercedes Cavallo (ADC);
Silvina Ramos, Mariana Romero, Paola Bergallo y Agustina Ramón Michel (CEDES)


Decision in Spanish, online

Decision in English, unofficial translation online

Amicus curiae brief submitted by Sandra Dughman and Rebecca Cook, International Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Programme, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto

Comment by the Center for Reproductive Rights

Summary by JURIST, with links to Argentine Penal Code

News report: Argentine court decriminalises abortion in rape cases

Comments are closed.