(CNA) A man from San Juan province in Argentina filed for an injunction to prevent his ex from aborting their child, however, the judge rejected the measure, which pro-lifers say shows there is a loophole in the abortion law that ignores fathers.
Franco, the father, filed an injunction April 22 in San Juan Family Court to prevent his ex from having an abortion. According to the man’s version, when the woman realized she was 12 weeks pregnant she decided to opt for an abortion, a decision which ended the relationship.
“As we disagreed, that ended the conversation, but despite that I suggested that she have (the baby) and give it to me. If afterwards she wants to go on with her life, she’lll be able to do so," Franco told AM 1020 radio in San Juan province.
“Everything is focused on women's rights, but my child also has rights and no one can make a decision concerning him. I have already presented everything I have to the court. Now I hope, please understand, that I just want to give my child the chance to live,” he added.
However, on April 26, Judge Rosa Amanda Días, in charge of San Juan Civil Court No. 11, rejected the injunction to prevent the abortion.
In her decision, the judge explained that the evidence presented by the plaintiff does not prove the woman's intention to have an abortion nor the "authenticity of the communication" held between the two.
According to Franco, he presented the marriage certificate, the provincial healthcare system card, a note from him to that institution, a copy of an ultrasound and authenticated copies of an alleged text message conversation. In addition, he supplied screenshots of a conversation supposedly held between the two.
The judge ruled that “the petitioner did not precisely question the constitutionality and/or application” of the case regarding the abortion law, which is why it is “totally unfounded and outside of the law to deprive any pregnant person in this instance of the possibility of exercising her right in accordance with the aforementioned law.”
One of Franco's lawyers, Martín Zuleta, stated on the Channel 13 Paren las Rotativas program (Stop the presses), that "from the moment there is life, there is a person; from the moment there is a person, there is a legal subject; and the law places at the disposition of the legal subject his legal representatives, who are the parents.”
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Zuleta pointed out that it is "totally inconsistent” to interpret the law such that “the father has obligations but has no rights during the pregnancy."
Claudio Venchiarutti, a lawyer for the Más Vida (More Life) Foundation, told ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish language news partner, that the case “reveals the loophole in the law” on abortion, “since it completely ignores the father of the unborn child," who has a “fundamental role in the pregnancy process."
"The law does not take it into consideration, or rather does not speak about the father nor about the humanity of the child that has been conceived, nor of the term mother or woman, since the law refers only to 'pregnant bodies.’ There is no mention of abortion, but rather of the 'interruption of pregnancy,' all with the sole purpose of covering up with so much verbiage the crime of (killing) a human being in the womb, who is innocent by definition.”
Venchiarutti said that despite the legal remedies pursued by the father "neither of the two were admitted” by the court "thus avoiding the responsibility of getting involved in the merits of the matter.”
Even though the court failed to do justice to the father “who is trying to save the life of his unborn child, society has responded with strong support," the lawyer noted.
Venchiarutti, who is also secretary general of the pro-life Partido Celeste political organization, noted that while some say “she already had an abortion, others deny it. Everything is still at that point, waiting for news. But the court rejected the two appeals by the father.”
"The truth is that if there is no ruling by the court on the merits of the matter regarding this infamous law, whose purpose is to exterminate human beings in the womb, at the simple will of the mother and financed with the payment of taxes citizens are forced to pay, numerous cases of injustice await us and various deaths of children in the womb will continue to occur with total impunity,” he said.
The case drew widespread support on social media with the hashtag #TodosConFranco (Everyone with Franco), and a similar story even came to light.
“Thank goodness that when my cute little guy began to live, I was able to convince the mother to have him and give him to me to raise (she didn't want to have it). Today he’s the most important thing in my life and the reason why I do everything. Be strong Franco, you’re not alone!” said Twitter user Daniel.
Guadalupe Batallán, a young leader in the pro-life cause, tweeted “it’s really outrageous that a father has to go out and ask for something as basic as allowing his child to be born. Adult women pretend to be strong and empowered but use their power and militancy to kill a baby.”
Catalina Buitrago, a congresswoman for Buenos Aires province, said on social media: “Today a dad is in tears before the court so they’ll let his child live. “All I'm asking is that you respect my son's life.” Let's make Franco's appeal be heard.”
Legal abortion in Argentina
Argentina’s abortion law was passed December 30, 2020 and allows abortion on demand up to 14 weeks pregnancy.
Beyond 14 weeks, an abortion can be performed in case of rape or "if the life or integral health of the pregnant person is in danger."
In various provinces in Argentina, appeals have been filed to challenge the abortion law.
The federal judiciary has “in its hands the power to put an end to this unjust law,” Venchiarutti said, citing the legal maxim, “Lex iniusta non est lex” (an unjust law is no law at all).
Editor's note: This article was published by Catholic News Agency and is reprinted with permission.