The Court of Appeal of Black river confirmed in a divided vote the sentence against the gynecologist Leandro Rodríguez Lastra for not having performed a non-punishable abortion on a young woman who had been raped and stressed that in the case “the gender perspective must be applied”.
The doctor was sentenced for “failure to fulfill the duties of a public official” to the penalty of “one year and two months in prison suspended plus two years and four months of disqualification from holding public office. “The defense of the accused advanced that he will appeal the sentence before the Superior Court of Justice of the province.
The doctor was sentenced for not performing a non-punishable abortion on a 19-year-old girl raped and pregnant by a family member in 2017 in the Rio Negro town of Cipolletti.
On October 4, 2019, Rodríguez Lastra was convicted in the first instance and this Wednesday the judges Miguel Ángel Cardella and María Rita Custet Llambí confirmed that sentence by two votes to one of magistrate Carlos Mussi, who pronounced the reverse in the minority, and said that in the case “the gender perspective must be applied”.
“A pregnant woman as a result of rape has the right to access the medical practice of a non-punishable abortion in public health facilities and the accused obstructed that process,” the judges said.
And they added that “the accused doctor did not respect the personal autonomy of women in the exercise of their medical profession as an employee of the public hospital of the province.”
On the other hand, partially, the prosecutor Santiago Márquez Gauna ordered to debate in a new trial the rules of conduct that the accused should comply with.
Likewise, the defense of Rodríguez Lastra in charge of Damián Torres, announced that he will appeal the sentence before the Superior Court of Justice. “The minority vote gives us hope. The only judge who intervened without a previous position was the one who agreed with us,” said the defense attorney.
The case occurred on April 2, 2017, when the young woman was referred from the Fernández Oro local health center to the Pedro Moguillansky hospital in Cipoletti, where Rodríguez Lastra was then head of the Gynecology service.
The doctor said that after evaluating the case, he resolved to prevent the abortion from occurring through the application of medications, acting contrary to what is indicated by current regulations.
According to the Rionegrina law 4796, for the legal termination of pregnancy, only an affidavit of the raped and pregnant woman is required.