Argentine healthcare failing women?

Aug. 10, 2010 at 5:39 PM

BUENOS AIRES, Aug. 10 (UPI) -- Women in Argentina face a "lottery" when they seek access to contraception and sterilization, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday.

Even women impregnated during rape have difficulty obtaining abortions, the group said.

Human Rights Watch released a report, "Illusions of Care: Lack of Accountability for Reproductive Rights in Argentina," that said doctors and clinics tend to put unnecessary obstacles in their way. These include requiring a husband's permission for a procedure, delays and referrals to other clinics.

"Women need dependable care throughout their reproductive lives," said Jose Miguel Vivanco, Americas director at Human Rights Watch. "But in Argentina, it's more like a lottery: You might be lucky enough to get decent care but you are more likely to be stuck with deficient -- or even abusive -- services."

Doctors who turn women away or impose arbitrary conditions are not often penalized, the report said.

One result is that 40 percent of the pregnancies in Argentina end in often unsafe abortions.

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