June 19, 2013
BA City Mayor vetoes abortion law
Buenos Aires City Mayor Mauricio Macri yesterday signed the veto blocking passage of the Regulation of the Non-Punishable Abortions Law, saying the bill “contains rulings that exceed the boundaries established by the Supreme Court.”
Decree 504 states that several of the bill’s articles are in conflict with the Constitution, the Civil and Criminal Codes, and the “homogeneity of the city’s legal order.”
The document adds, “the eventual incorporation into the judicial regime of a normative text that repeatedly collides with the national constitutional order would generate a multiplicity of conflicts, prone to judicialization.”
Moreover, the Macri administration asserted its desire to “prevent the validation of a norm that presents contradictions, and the implementation of which would impede meeting with the ends desired by the Law, as well as the standards established by the Supreme Court.”
The veto additionally criticizes Article 5 of the bill, which it argues pretends “to distort the meaning of the Criminal Code, when it incorporates as non-punishable abortions carried out in cases of integral health risks.” The decree also criticizes the notion of a person’s ability to consent to an abortion from the age of 14 without legal representation as incompatible with the Civil Code and the proposed right for medical practitioners to refuse to carry out an abortion on the grounds of an “objection of conscience” being contradictory to the Constitution.
The City legislature approved the law on September 28, and Macri had announced himself on October 5 that the first abortion would take place, but the same day, in an apparent policy U-turn, he announced his intention to veto the Non-Punishable Abortions Law.
Controversy arose when a woman whose abortion Macri had approved at Ramos Mejía Hospital was impeded from doing so by Judge Myriam Rustán de Estrada, who upheld a formal complaint against the procedure.