Now yes: There is updated ILE Protocol

With the assumption of the new president Alberto Fernández on December 10, and after recovering his category of Ministry the health area, the third update of the National Protocol for the comprehensive care of people entitled to health was published in the Official Gazette legal termination of pregnancy. Update that a little less than a month ago was vetoed by former President Mauricio Macri, after his own Secretary of Health Adolfo Rubinstein gave him momentum.

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After the comings and goings of the previous government regarding the publication and after the repeal of the update of said Protocol, the current Minister of Health Ginés González García, a day after taking office, held a press conference at Casa Rosada in which announced that the update of the Protocol would be published in the next few hours. So it was.

Through Resolution No. 1/2019 published on December 13, what González González García had already anticipated was reflected: this protocol is an imperative of the national health policy on sexual and reproductive health.

It is nothing more than a procedural guide to guarantee the rights already stipulated by law. It also provides support to professionals who must comply with it, due to the intimidation suffered in recent times by anti-rights groups.

The update of the Protocol has few variants with respect to the previous one, resolved by Secretary Adolfo Rubinstein. One of the most relevant is the flexibility regarding conscientious objection to ensure that it does not prevent the legal interruption of pregnancy. On this issue, González García said, “we are respectful of conscientious objection, but it cannot be an institutional cut so that the law is not fulfilled.”

It is important to highlight this issue, due to what happened this year in the Province of Tucumán with the Lucia case, in which health officials hindered the realization of the ILE, waiting at 7 months of gestation to perform a caesarean section against The will of the girl. All kinds of pressure was exerted against her and her family, in addition to the violation of her rights.

In this regard, the Minister also spoke, trusting the accession of the Provinces to the Protocol so that, in this way, the rights of those who can and wish to access an ILE, and professionals who have the duty to comply with the law.

It is important to highlight that the first Protocol was prepared in 2007 during the first administration of the current Minister, and then it was updated in 2010 and 2015, when the provisions made by the Supreme Court were incorporated in the FAL Judgment of 2012 .

On this occasion and in line with the recently repealed Protocol, the update was carried out in accordance with the new Civil and Commercial Code sanctioned in 2015, and with the latest recommendations made in this regard by the World Health Organization (WHO).

One of the relevant issues in this regard is that according to the Argentine Civil and Commercial Code, a pregnant person from 16 years of age is considered an adult. Therefore, your informed consent is sufficient when requesting the application of an ILE.

Main topics

Due to the short time elapsed between the update of the Protocol by Secretary Rubinstein and the current one, the central points continue to be basically the same, as explained by Fundeps before.

It is important to continue emphasizing that the Protocol aims to “guarantee the dignity and rights of every person capable of gestating and, therefore, potential subject to the right to ILE, when their life or health is in danger, or they are taking a pregnancy product of a violation, regardless of whether it is a person with or without a disability ”.

Therefore, its main points are:

  • Reaffirms the ILE as the right of women and pregnant people.
  • The consent is adapted to the new Civil and Commercial Code, respecting the progressive autonomy of children and adolescents and people with disabilities and capacity constraints.
  • According to the CCyC of the Nation, from the age of 16 the pregnant person is considered adult.
  • Between 13 and 16, you can autonomously request an ILE when it does not involve a serious risk to your health or life.
  • It recognizes the possibility of conscientious objection, but states that it cannot be an obstacle to access to the ILE.
  • It guarantees the speed. The deadline between the request of the ILE and its completion must not exceed 10 calendar days. If a doctor is a conscientious objector, he must refer one who is in less than 24 hours.
  • It gives security to health workers to carry out the practice.

The situation in the provinces

On this issue, the new Minister was also issued by saying that “in a federal country, much depends on the adhesion of the provinces. There are already many that are attached, but unfortunately some large provinces, such as Buenos Aires for example, did not approve the protocol. ”

Recall that in 2012, the FAL ruling urged the national State and the provinces to provide the necessary conditions to carry out legal interruptions of pregnancies quickly, easily and safely.

Until today, still 7 provinces unfortunately did not have their own regulations or adhere to the protocol of the Nation. Santiago del Estero, Tucumán, Corrientes, Mendoza, San Juan, Catamarca and Formosa, were part of this number.

The good news is that after the announcement of the Ministry of Health of the Nation, the Undersecretariat of Human Development of the province of Formosa, declared in a local environment that the province adheres to the Protocol since 2015 “always preserving the victim, point by which the adhesion in the province was not announced ”.

Beyond the reading that can be made of this statement, the important thing is that finally one more province pronounced itself publicly regarding its adherence.

The words of the Minister stating that “we do not believe that it is easy or that the protocol itself changes history, but we are willing to change history far beyond the protocol”, is a halo of hope that brings this new government, in The fact that the advancement of recognition of rights, the decriminalization of abortion and the legalization of voluntary termination of pregnancy no longer seem as distant or difficult to achieve, and we hope that they will soon be a reality.


Valentina Montero


Mayca Balaguer, maycabalaguer@fundeps.org