I’ve always strongly supported the separation of Church and State. In my view, religion is a very private matter, an individual choice (if any), and it should be divorced from politics. Religion and government are a dangerous mix and should be kept apart. The Catholic Church has historically opposed all forms of abortion. I can understand and respect their viewpoint. Nevertheless, I believe that denying the existence of illegal abortions in Argentina, is absurd and dangerous. Pure hypocrisy. Unsafe abortions, from which many women have died, have always been commonplace, an open secret. Therefore, I celebrate that the bill to allow the voluntary interruption of pregnancy, has finally become law in my country. Mind you: nobody can make anybody get an abortion if they don’t want to. What’s more, doctors won’t have to perform abortions if that goes against their principles (conscientious objection). And that’s all right too. But churches as such –in my opinion- shouldn’t meddle in politics or  public health issues. That might be our next conquest: a fully secular state.   Something worth fighting for.

Irene Bianchi for Buenos Aires Times