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Thu Aug 8, 2019, 06:00 PM

Argentine woman dies while serving 8-year sentence for abortion

An Argentine woman serving an 8-year sentence for "aggravated homicide" as a result of an abortion, died on Monday.

Patricia Solorza died of peritonitis in a public hospital in the western Buenos Aires suburb of San Martín. She had been transferred from a nearby women's prison, and reportedly died handcuffed to the bed.

Solorza, 40, was sentenced in 2013 after undergoing an abortion - which in Argentina remains illegal except in cases of rape, or due to risk to the mother's health.

She was impoverished and had already had two children - the oldest of which suffered a developmental disability due to a bout of infantile meningitis. According to her sister Luján, who had actively advocated for her freedom, Patricia was frequently beaten as a child by their father.

A public health problem

Solorza's death reignited debate over Argentina's restrictive abortion laws, which date from 1921.

Bills legalizing abortion have been debated in Argentina's Congress eight times since 1983 - most recently last year, when a bill legalizing abortion on demand up to the 14th week was passed by the Lower House on June 14 but defeated in the Senate on August 8 by 38 votes to 31.

Despite the legal hurdles, over 300,000 abortions are performed in the country annually - up to 50,000 of which result in dangerous complications, and, in 2017, in 30 deaths.

President Mauricio Macri has long opposed abortion rights.

Macri vetoed a municipal bill as mayor of Buenos Aires in 2012 that guaranteed abortion rights in cases of rape (as Argentine law currently stipulates), and reaped controversy by earmarking 121 million pesos ($4.3 million at the time) in the 2018 budget to a non-profit run by an abstinence and pro-life advocate, Dr. Abel Albino.

His right-wing "Let's Change" caucus in Congress largely voted against the 2018 bill.

Opposition candidate Alberto Fernández of the center-left Front for Everyone, himself a law professor, has long supported the decriminalization of abortion.

"Since 1983 I've been pointing out that punishing a woman for an abortion is barbarous," he told journalist Horacio Verbitsky in a May interview.

"This is a serious public health problem - not a criminal matter."

At: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&tab=wT&sl=auto&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.pagina12.com.ar%2F210931-la-historia-de-patricia-solorza-presa-por-abortar-murio-aban

Patricia Solorza, who died, handcuffed to a bed, of peritonitis while serving an 8-year prison sentence for an abortion.

While abortion remains illegal in Argentina except in cases of rape, or due to risks to the mother's health, over 300,000 abortions are estimated to be performed in the country annually.

The center-left Front for Everyone, whose nominee Alberto Fernández is ahead in most polls, has pledged to bring up pro-choice legislation next year should Fernández prevail in the October elections.

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Reply Argentine woman dies while serving 8-year sentence for abortion (Original post)
sandensea Aug 2019 OP
dawg day Aug 2019 #1
sandensea Aug 2019 #2
Judi Lynn Aug 2019 #3
sandensea Aug 2019 #4

Response to sandensea (Original post)

Thu Aug 8, 2019, 06:01 PM

1. So is any prison official going to be charged with "aggravated homicide"

... for not getting the woman treatment?

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Response to dawg day (Reply #1)

Thu Aug 8, 2019, 06:41 PM

2. Macri may just promote him

That's what happened to Gendarmerie officer Emmanuel Echazú, the chief suspect in the 2017 death of indigenous rights supporter Santiago Maldonado - an unsolved mystery to this day (though there's reason to believe Echazú drowned him, and that his body was later planted upstream to be found 3 months after the fact).

Pablo Noceti, right-hand man to Macri's Security Minister Patricia Bullrich (a little like having Kellyanne Conway as DNI), personally supervised the crackdown on the indigenous protest that led to Maldonado's death.

He, too, was promoted.

They don't call Macri the "Trump of the Pampas" for nothing. Indeed, Cheeto ordered the IMF to bail Argentina out in hopes of guaranteeing Macri's re-election this year.

A guaranteed problem for the IMF by 2022 or so. Guess who they'll ask to bail them out.

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Response to sandensea (Original post)

Fri Aug 9, 2019, 01:43 AM

3. Patricia Solorza's photo reveals a woman who had suffered greatly a long time.

That expression is one no one could imitate. She looks as if she never expected help to come to her again, ever.

Clearly she was one of the last people who would ever commit crimes. Her situation was so extreme, already knowing how damaged her last child was, how desperately ill, and broken.

To imprison her, to let her die without treatment was to torture her physically, emotionally, spiritually. Such profound abuse, and after a lifetime of abuse, already.

I scanned three articles badly google translated, but learned Patricia had had a gall bladder operation, and a lot of trouble with that, was suffering with a resulting infection which was going untreated, and actually was dying over a period of several days before finally slipping away. I believe her nickname was "Pato." Her son couldn't hear well, and didn't talk, was what I think one of the articles said. It said that she didn't know she was pregnant once, and then tried to get to the hospital and actually gave birth at the door of the hospital. One of the articles said she had a dissociated mental state, and another mentioned her father was wildly brutal and the entire family was terrified of him, and that her sister said that Pato had acted to protect her from the father.

Very extreme patriarchy in that family, all right. It seemed they all trembled in their boots, including the mother, and that his influence extended to them when they were even adults.

She suffered in every part of her life. Looks as if death, in this instance, came to free her, sadly. The government laws certainly played a cruel, inhuman part in her suffering during her last 8 years of life. She died before reaching 40 years of age.

Thank you, sandensea. Hope that the equal rights movement will gain strength and determination from the loss of this poor woman.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #3)

Fri Aug 9, 2019, 02:02 PM

4. There must be hundreds of cases not unlike hers.

There are only around 3,200 women in prison in Argentina - and I wouldn't be surprised if 1,000 of them or more were there for having dared have an abortion.

I certainly hope that if Beto Fernández wins, his allies in Congress will re-introduce last year's very progressive pro-choice bill (the one narrowly defeated in the Senate) - and that, of course, he'll sign it.

Fernández has always been pro-choice, so I think we can expect him to sign it post haste.

That said, the Catholic Church is very influential in Argentina - not as much as it was in past generations, but still.

And there's the 'Francis factor' to consider: It's no secret Pope Francis supports Fernández (albeit privately), and he could pressure the new president to veto the pro-choice bill when it comes up next year or in 2021.

Then again, Francis may opt to stay out of this one.

I hope so. I agree with His Holiness on most issues - but definitely not this one.

Thank you for all that research, Judi. Your reply really added depth to the story. Let's hope it's the last!

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