Buenos Aires, 23/07/2010
URGENT NOTE FROM ARGENTINE NGOS RE ACTIONS OF ARGENTINA IN BLUNT CONTRADICTION OF THE COMMITMENTS ASSUMED BEFORE THE UNITED NATIONS CEDAW COMMITTEE DURING THE 46TH SESSION
The United Nations CEDAW Committee, and
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen:
It has been only a few days since the undersigned had the tremendous opportunity to meet most of you at the July 12 Session of the Committee on Argentina, the NGO’s Lunch Meeting and the July 13th presentation of the Sixth Report of Argentina before the Committee. In the referred events and the Shadow Reports submmitted before the Committee, it has been pointed out the consistent violation of Argentina to CEDAW on the subject of women health and reproductive health rights. It has been reported that the State does not guarantee their access to a safe abortion at least in all cases permitted by law, and that the State tolerates the constant interference with such important rights and allows unrequired obstacles imposed by public health providers, which leaves Argentina with high numbers of maternal mortality as a consequence of unsafe abortions and a blunt violation of CEDAW and the Committee’s Reccomendations on the subject, among other international human rights treaties to which Argentina is a party. With this framework, we were pleased to hear from the Argentine Government in the presentation of the Sixth Report and the follow up questions and answers that took place on this 46th Session of the Committee, that “as of July 12, 2010 the Ministry of health passed resolution Number 1184/2010 updating and further elaborating the Guide for the Integral Attention of Non-Punishable Abortion Cases”, complying finally with the Committee’s Reccommendations and the Country’s international obligations.(1)
However, as of today, in contradiction with the statements made before the Committee, the Ministry of Health expressly denied in its own webpage that such a resolution was passed. (2) Therefore, the Argentine Government made a turn in its commitments before the Committee undoing what announced to have been done to secure the access of women to a safe abortion, in the cases permitted by law. As a result, Argentina continues with this gross violation of CEDAW and other human rights treaties but this time acting in contradiction with its own commitments before a body of significance and respect such as the CEDAW Committee.
We believe that to leave this unnoticed undermines the importance and effect of the work of the Committee and the rule of law that should be followed by Argentina as State Party to CEDAW. It is therefore with our deepest concern for the rights of women that we urge the Committee to sanction Argentina with the fullest extent of its authority and request that it comply with its obligations under CEDAW by taking all necessary measures to implement and put into effect the referred Ministerial resolution Number 1184/2010 updating and further elaborating the Guide for the Integral Attention of Non-Punishable Abortion Cases and the Guide of the same name passed in 2007 that should be applied by all public health actors to allow women to access a safe abortion.
ELA – Equipo Latinoamericano de Justicia y Género
(1) The Argentine Government statement in this regard can be seen published in the first paragraph, page 14 of the Argentine State Report at: www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cedaw/docs/statement/ArgentinaStat_46.pdf
(2) Publication of the denial of the passing of the resolution at www.msal.gov.ar/htm/site/noticias_plantilla.asp?Id=2082.