Abortion Statistics Hyped, Says Argentine Group

Contends That 500,000 Figure Contradicts Government Data

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CORDOBA, Argentina, DEC. 22, 2004 (Zenit.org).- A nonprofit organization has denounced the Argentine minister of health in federal court for aiding the legalization of abortion with false statistics.

Health Minister Ginés González García said Nov. 24 that the legalization of abortion would probably help the health situation, stating that an estimated 500,000 abortions take place each year.

Six days later, the nonprofit group Portal de Belén denounced the minister in Federal Court No. 2, according to the Cordoban newspaper La Voz del Interior.

According to the group, which runs five houses for single mothers in Cordoba, González failed in his duties as a public official because he contradicted the statistics of his own ministry.

The head of the Health Department «intimidated not only the public, but also the supreme court and the National Congress» into changing the law, according to Portal de Belén.

Aurelio García Elorrio, president of Portal de Belén, recalled that González affirmed that in Argentina «500,000 abortions take place each year per 700,000 births.»

Such statistics, if true, would mean that «while one woman is giving birth to a child, another would be killing one,» said a letter to the editor of La Nación last Friday sent by García Elorrio and Jorge Scala, treasurer of Portal de Belén.

Yet based on government data about maternal deaths from abortion, they said in their letter, «in Argentina during 2002 we could only be able to estimate an approximate total of 50,000 abortions, that is to say, 10 times less than falsely affirmed by the minister of health.»

They also made a statement before the court to draw public attention to what they deemed «these false statistics.»

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