One year of the IVE (Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy) Law: a highly significant advance for people’s rights
By Hernán Gullco – President of ADC
December 30 was the first anniversary of the sanction of House Bill 27,610, known as that of “Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy”. In essence, it establishes that “women and persons of other gender identities that may become pregnant have the right to decide and be granted access to the interruption of their pregnancy up to and including the fourteenth week of gestation” (Article 4).
The norm also provides, in a similar manner to the previous restrictive abortion law in the Criminal Code, that outside this period of fourteen weeks, a pregnant person has the right to decide and have access to the termination of their pregnancy in the following situations:
a) If such pregnancy results from rape, under request and sworn statement of the pregnant person before the intervening health personnel. For girls under the age of thirteen, the sworn statement is not required;
b) If there is danger to the life or health of the pregnant person.
The approval of this law was the outcome of a long and complex legislative and judicial process, aimed at recognizing the right of pregnant persons to autonomy and equality.
Thus, the “F.A.L.” case ruling by the National Supreme Court in 2012 declared that Criminal Code art. 86, which allowed pregnancy termination in case of rape or danger to the life or health of the pregnant person, did not violate the right to life from the moment of conception, as stated in art. 4.1 of the American Convention on Human Rights.1
In addition to conceding the right to voluntary interruption of pregnancy, however, limited in extent, this decision was of great significance, as it resolved – contrary to a widespread judicial practice – that the performance of an abortion as authorized by the Code did not require a previous legal complaint, since this violated the woman’s right to privacy and put her health at risk owing to the delay caused by such a procedure.
The next step in the attempt to recognize the right to pregnancy termination was a bill drafted in the National Congress in similar terms to Law 27,610. Despite having the approval of the Lower House, the bill was finally rejected by the Senate on October 9, 2018.
Finally, after an intensive campaign for clarity which included the participation of women’s rights advocates, academics and representatives of different political parties, Law 27,610 was finally passed.
This ruling can be considered a momentous achievement in the recognition of individual rights in Argentina as stated in our Constitution. In this respect, it is noteworthy to mention – as does the Law itself, in its third article – the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the American Convention on Human Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and its Optional Protocol, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence against Women “Convention of Belém do Pará”, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, on account of the protection they grant to sexual and reproductive rights, dignity, life, autonomy, health, education, integrity, body and ethnocultural diversity, gender identity, privacy, freedom of thought, conscience and religion, the right to information, to benefit from scientific progress, real equality of opportunity, non-discrimination and a life free of violence.
However, the enactment of this law is not the end of the road but rather its beginning: its effective enforcement is still to be seen in certain jurisdictions of the country, due to the opposition of legal and administrative personnel. To overcome such resistance by all legal means at their disposal is the new task falling to those who struggled for the approval of Law 27.610.
 This article reads as follows: “Every person has the right to have his life respected. This right shall be protected by law and, in general, from the moment of conception. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life”.