Rio Negro Court confirms sentence against Argentine gynaecologist

According to the Criminal Code of Argentina, abortion is not punishable in case of rape.

In 2012, the Supreme Court specified the scope of this rule, requiring the development of protocols for its proper application.

In 2019, the Argentinian gynaecologist Leandro Rodríguez Lastra was sentenced to suspended jail term and disqualification, under charges of non-compliance with the duties of a public official for not having carried out, due to his personal convictions, the abortion procedure for a young victim of sexual abuse.

The sentence was recently upheld by the Río Negro Appeal Court on the grounds that the doctor, in the exercise of his duties, did not respect the personal autonomy of the woman.

This ruling sets a risky precedent for conscientious objectors in the field of health since, out of fear of being penalized, medical personnel may be forced to act against their convictions, especially because there are no clear rules for the application of the right to conscientious objection in the different medical centers in the country.

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