Argentine doctor faces prison for refusing abortion; Chilean Jesuit faces abuse accusations

Crux | 5/23/2019 | Staff
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ROME - A doctor has been condemned in Argentina for refusing to perform an abortion in the fifth month of a pregnancy causing uproar among Catholics, Evangelicals and pro-life groups; Pope Francis has appointed two new auxiliary bishops to the troubled Archdiocese of Santiago, Chile; and an apology from a Chilean Jesuit who “saw nothing and knew nothing,” but says he is now convinced his late friend Father Renato Poblete is guilty of abusing many women.

Here’s the rundown of Catholic news from Latin America this week.

Dr - Leandro - Rodriguez - Lastra - Abortion

In 2017, Dr. Leandro Rodriguez Lastra refused to perform an abortion on a 19-old woman who arrived at the hospital in the southern city of Cipolleti. She was 22 weeks pregnant after having been raped, and had taken an abortion-inducing pill, which had life-threatening side effects.

Rodriguez Lastra saved both the woman and the unborn child, who has since been adopted. The man who raped the woman was never tried for his crime. Yet this week, the doctor was found guilty of “breaching the duties of a public official,” and faces two years in prison; he could also lose his medical license.

Abortion - Home - Country - Pope - Francis

Abortion is currently illegal in the home country of Pope Francis, though some provinces have a protocol in place that provide exceptions if the pregnancy is the product of a rape or the life of the mother is at risk. The prosecution argued that according to the protocol in place, Rodriguez Lastra should have performed the abortion.

The Catholic Church in Argentina, Evangelical churches and pro-life organizations have all spoken against the veredict of Judge Alvaro Meynet.

Bishop - Alberto - Bochatey - Auxiliary - La

Bishop Alberto Bochatey, auxiliary of La Plata and a member of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life, told a local radio station that the Argentine people “want life and not death.”

Last year, President Mauricio Macri opened a debate for the...
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