Church vs State? The Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy Law (IVE) of Argentina.
The year 2020 has left a mark on every surface area of the world and within societies. A battle between Church and the State or the end of Christianity?, is what I asked myself when I read Argentina’s Senate has legalised abortions. This was certainly no smooth ride for the feminists and politicians advocating this, however it has changed the minds of many as well as giving voice to more. Personally, I am not surprised this has happened and is a result of social pressure rather than challenging the Church itself.
Before 12 hours of debate in the Senate this past Wednesday, I like to highlight some major events in the past to the build up of the passing of this Bill.
In 2015, a national protest was organised (most notably by members of Ni Una Menos, meaning Not one less) which sparked debates and drew massive attention, especially amongst the Catholic Church as well as the country’s fast-growing evangelical Protestant churches; who seem to be the main opponents here. Especially that fact that Pope Francis, is Argentinian himself. This is interesting as such a ‘spark’ was seen in the George Floyd protests of 2020 around the world. Does language barrier play a role for global presence?
From 2016 to 2018, a number of 39,025 women and girls were admitted to public hospitals for health issues arising from abortions or miscarriages. In 2016, of the 39,025 hospital discharges nationally for abortion complications — either legal or illegal — , 16 percent — 6,164 — were young women and girls between 10 and 19 years old
In terms of politics, current vice-president named Cristina Fernández de Kirchner was against abortions until 2015. Claiming, her daughter made her change her mind and interestingly this change of heart was seen in the build up to the 2018 elections. Also, ex-president Mauricio Macri was against abortions too and remained firm, but he vowed to never veto the bill, two year ago.
It is important to consider how Argentina ranks globally, in terms of religious commitment amongst various ages. According to Pew Research, religion seems to be more important for individuals (aged 18 and above) in Central America and less important moving south toward Argentina and Chile and north to Mexico. On the other hand, overall in the average country surveyed, 54% of adults say religion is very important in their lives. However, levels of religious commitment vary widely around the world, as well as between countries within the same geographic area.
A thought here: Although the rise of secularism is rapidly growing in majority Christian countries of the world, it has been the case since the “Enlightenment Period’’ in the West and it is influencing policies in governments and attitudes of individuals on the Internet.
As a Muslim living in the UK, I like to view this from a neutral political position as well as being firm with my Islamic values, moral and ethics laid down by Allah. I would however sum up my opinion in the words of David Foster Wallace: “ This is a generation that has an inheritance of absolutely nothing as far as meaningful moral values”. I am quite sure Dostoevsky and Nietzsche would certainly agree with DFW, at least on the current trajectory of morality we are settling upon.