History Repeats Itself
"Lying is Not a Crime"
Argentine Official Falsified Abortion StatisticsHT: Lee Anne
Sunday, September 03, 2006 12:00:00 AM GMT
A federal attorney in Argentina admitted this week that the country's health minister, Gines Gonzalez Garcia, released falsified statistics related to the number of clandestine abortions in the country, but he rejected calls to investigate the incident, saying lying is not a crime.
The organization Portal de Belen filed a lawsuit against the health minister for falsely claiming that 500,000 clandestine abortions take place in Argentina each year, in an attempt "to intimidate and confuse Argentinean society, in order to obtain a social consensus for the decriminalization of abortion." A lower court rejected the lawsuit and the organization appealed the ruling. During a public hearing held at the federal court in Cordoba, federal attorney A. Ferrer Vera admitted that Garcia lied, but he asked that the lawsuit be thrown out.
Vera said that although the health minister exaggerated the statistics, he did not commit a legally punishable crime, since regardless of the controversy surrounding the numbers of clandestine abortions, it remains a fact that they are taking place, and Garcia’s actions were motivated exclusively by political strategy.
Portal de Belen reiterated its own position regarding the scandal, underscoring that the Argentinean government "is engaging in an explicit effort to confuse and prepare the populace for the decriminalization of abortion, by spreading false statistics and cowardly using the debate about the right to life of innocent children in order to divert the attention of society."
The organization said the unfortunate cases of two mentally handicapped women who conceived through rape and were recently allowed to obtain abortions were being used as smokescreens.