Photo via Pagina 12

A group of priests who work in the villas (shantytowns) located in the City and Province of Buenos Aires weighed in on the debate about the decriminalization of abortion and, as you’d expect, they argued against it.

In a press release published today, the priests said that sectors advocating for decriminalization use the argument that the current legal status affects people from the vulnerable sectors of society the most – as they don’t have the resources to safely obtain an illegal abortion – as justification to push their agenda.

“There is a conversation about women’s mortality rates as a result of abortions in the poorest neighborhoods. The first thing that needs to be done in our neighborhoods is fight against poverty with firm determination. And here, the state has the best tools. With a 30 percent poverty rate in the country, there are certain debates that should be prioritized.”

Instead, they propose the state make it easier for families to adopt. “We witness many cases of married couples in the villas that are not allowed to adopt because they did not have their property’s deed.”

The release goes on to criticize “developed” countries where abortion has been decriminalized, arguing it leads progenitors to “discard children who are going to be born with Down syndrome.” “How much do these kids teach us who have our ability to love atrophied! The logic of the powerful, the strong, who decide over those who have fewer possibilities, is the dominant logic. And that, in a way, is extrapolated to the subject of children who have not yet been born,” it adds.

The priests finish the letter by saying they have witnessed how death reaches the villas in many different ways, and that is not necessary to add yet another one. “Our neighborhoods need proposals that improve their lives. And a society that protects the weakest.”

The debate in Congress is set to start on April 3 or 10. It will certainly not be exempt of polarized views.