Mexico City’s Attempt to Legalize Abortion Draws Catholic Church Rebuke

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 20, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Mexico City’s Attempt to Legalize Abortion Draws Catholic Church Rebuke Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 20
, 2007

Mexico City, Mexico ( — An attempt by the local legislature in Mexico City to legalize all abortions within the first 14 weeks of pregnancy and open the door to the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug has drawn a sharp rebuke from the nation’s Catholic bishops. They called the legislation the beginning of a "program of extermination."

The Bishops’ Conference of Mexico is opposing the bill and calling on legislators in Mexico’s capital city to "reaffirm their commitment to life.”

"Faced with this program of extermination, as pastors, but above all as human beings, we are obliged to raise our voice in support of the life of the most defenseless,” the bishops said in a statement.

Bishop Carlos Aguiar Retes and Bishop Jose Leopoldo Gonzalez Gonzalez sign the statement on behalf of Catholic leaders throughout the nation.

According to the ACI Prensa news agency, the bishops emphasized that human life begins at conception and that science confirms that a unique human being comes into existence at that point.

“But even if there were some doubt as to whether the fruit of conception is already a human person,” they called abortion "a grave sin."

The bishops also say the law would violate the Mexican constitution, which offers protection for human life and says “the State has the duty to guarantee and support respect for the life of every human being.”

Meanwhile, the Archdiocese of Mexico City, Hugo Valdemar, is also speaking out against the pro-abortion proposal and said that members of the Socialist PRD party, which controls the local legislature and is behind the bill, “do not want to understand that it is not true that the people support these reforms or that the majority of the country is left-wing.”

He said polls show just 30 percent of Mexicans support the party nationwide.

Though the North American nation bans abortion and its citizens are strongly pro-life backers believe they have a majority of the votes needed to pass the bill.

If the bill is approved in the coming months, the first legal abortions could take place there before the end of the year.

Victor Hugo Cirigo, a member of the leftist party which has control of the city’s top political offices and 34 of 66 city legislative seats, previously said the influential Catholic Church shouldn’t control the nation’s abortion laws.

"No church, no religion can impose its vision of the world in this city," he said.

Mexico City currently allows abortions in cases of rape or incest and when the pregnancy threatens the life of the mother while the rest of the nation only allows abortions in cases of sexual abuse.

Raimundo Rojas, the Hispanic outreach director for National Right to Life, isn’t surprised by the bill.

"The push for a world-wide ‘right to abortion’never ends because pro-abortion forces strategically chose areas where pro-life laws are vulnerable. Places where left-leaning governments are in place are their favorite targets, due to the fact that as a rule, leftist governments are anti-church and very liberal on social issues," he told

"Pro-lifers in Mexico City have much work ahead of them, and they must take their fight to the streets. It is imperative for them to take this argument to the good people of Mexico City and in the strongest possible terms make them aware that abortion destroys," he added.

Cirigo said his party, which has sponsored a pro-abortion bill in the Legislative Assembly of Mexico City before, is also looking to legalize assisted suicide in the nation’s capital.

However, that would go against the views of the Mexican people.

The Parametra polling firm surveyed 1,000 Mexican adults in September and asked whether a physician should be able to end the life of a patient in the event "a group of specialists deems that his or her disease is incurable."

The survey found that 46 percent of Mexicans disagree with euthanasia in such a case while 39 percent supported killing the patient in that circumstance.

Mexico recently elected President Felipe Calderon, an outspoken pro-life Catholic whose ruling National Action Party is largely pro-life.

The July 2006 election results showed Calderon winning with 36.46% and Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in second with 35.42%. Roberto Madrazo of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, was a distant third, with 21.28% of the vote.

Calderon was considered the most pro-life candidate in the race and wants to keep the nation’s pro-life laws. He has said in previous interviews that he opposes distributing the morning after pill, which can sometimes cause an abortion.

"On the subject of abortion, I am pro-life, and I also see that it is a matter clearly regulated by law, and most of all in judicial terms well settled," he told Knight Ridder news.

Related web sites:
Comite Nacional Pro Vida –