Pro-Life Advocates Rally in Trinidad and Tobago to Stop Legalizing Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 11, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Advocates Rally in Trinidad and Tobago to Stop Legalizing Abortion Email this article
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by Paul Nowak Staff Writer
November 11, 2004

Port of Spain, Trinidad ( — Human Life International held a conference in the tiny island nation of Trinidad and Tobago last week, as pro-abortion advocates continue to lobby for the legalization of abortion there.

Father Tim Euteneuer, president of HLI, spoke at the conference about the proposed Women’s Choice on Pregnancy Bill supported by the pro-abortion group ASPIRE. Euteneuer called it one of the "most extreme abortion propositions" he has ever seen in 12 years of pro-life work.

The bill would allow non-physicians to perform abortions, as well as allow abortion to be performed anywhere the abortionist sets up a clinic. ASPIRE is calling for abortion on demand through the 14th week of pregnancy, without the patient being required to notify her husband or parents. The justification for such an extreme proposal is for the mental and physical health of the mother.

"When a bill defines health as mental health, it means you can have an abortion for any reason," explained Fr. Euteneuer. "Mental health can mean ‘I can’t have another baby.’"

Dr. Jeanette Pinto, director of the Diocesan Human Life Committee spoke at the conference about the effects of abortion on women, particularly younger girls.

Pinto explained how having an abortion early in life can lead to infertility.

"When an abortion is done, the woman’s cervix is damaged. But when a girl has an abortion, the cervix, which is still ‘green’ is not fully prepared for a rupture like that," said Pinto. "The cervix is usually stretched causing it to lose its elasticity. This, therefore, leads to an incompetent cervix. Following this, the young woman is likely to suffer a number of

"We want our youth to understand that human sexuality is a beautiful thing, but it is not something that should be abused," added Pinto.

Trinidad and Tobago, which has a population of approximately 1.3 million, has one of the top abortion rates in the world, with roughly 45 out of every 1,000 women ages 15-44 having an abortion. In the U.S., by comparison, approximately 27 women per 1,000 have an abortion.

That number is likely not accurate Dr. Godfrey Rajkumar told the Trinidad and Tobago Newsday, as hospitals there report spontaneous abortions (miscarriages) simply as "abortions."

According to Human Life International, which has conducted several pro-life mission trips to Trinidad and Tobago, abortion is prohibited by law, but that law is seldom enforced and abortion is widely practiced.

ASPIRE has been actively promoting their document, called the "Women’s Choice on Pregnancy Bill" to outline their proposed changes to Trinidad’s abortion policy. Pro-life leaders have pointed out that since no MP or governmental ministry has accepted the document, it is not actually a legislative bill, but only a wish list of ASPIRE.

For the most part, ASPIRE’s efforts are limited to issuing public statements, and dependence on foreign organizations’ financial donations.

"ASPIRE, on Radio 106 the other day, admitted they get money from Planned Parenthood for their work. I understand it is in the sum of about US $20,000 a month, that is more than TT$120,000," explained Leela Ramdeen, an attorney with Lawyers for Jesus during a seminar on "Defending the Unborn" in July. "These people are fighting because they are getting money, so it is worth their while to keep doing these things."

Brian Clowes of Human Life International told that he calls ASPIRE members "air-conditioned warriors."

"The people certainly don’t want abortion in T&T," explained Clowes. "We have had marches of thousands of people there. The pro-abortionists do not march or demonstrate, because their only supporters are the rich who do not like to get all hot and sweaty. There are no polls taken on abortion, because the power brokers know that they will be outvoted 3 or 4 to one.
They do not debate us, because they know they will lose every time."

In contrast, pro-life ministries such as the lay Catholic Emmanuel community are active in supporting women in crisis pregnancies.

The Archdiocesan home called "Mary Care" has taken care of some two hundred women in crisis pregnancies since 1987. Emmanuel members have even opened their own homes to young women with children who are in crisis.

While the pro-abortion movement does not reflect the will of the people, pro-life leaders recognize that there is a very real danger of even the false impression that the government supports ASPIRE’s work.

"Our Prime Minister says he is pro-life, so if ASPIRE can get a ministry to collaborate with them … they will be able to publicly say then that they have Government support," said Ramdeen.

Related Sites:
Human Life International –