Mexico Bill to Legalize Abortion Draws Opposition From Pro-Life Group

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 22, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Mexico Bill to Legalize Abortion Draws Opposition From Pro-Life Group Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 22
, 2007

Mexico City, Mexico ( — A representative of one of the leading pro-life groups in Mexico is disappointed by news that lawmakers in the nation’s Congress have introduced a bill that would legalize abortion there. The Catholic Church will help lead the fight against the bill but the Comité Pro Vida will help as well.

Jorge Serrano, the director of the national organization, says it appears likely that there will be enough votes to pass the bill.

"It does look very likely that these draft laws will be approved, which would be appalling, because it would legalize the murder of defenseless beings," he told IPS in an interview.

"We are not against women’s rights, but what rights are we talking about if abortion is a crime, in every sense of the word," he argued.

Serrano reacted to news that members of the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) introduced a bill to allow all abortions within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy anywhere in Mexico. They also introduced a bill in the Mexico City legislature to do the same thing.

He is worried that Congressional legislators in the centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), and the small Alternativa party will join PRD officials to pass the bill in Congress.

His group may work with the governing National Action Party (PAN), which doesn’t hold a majority in either legislative body, to try to block the law should it be passed either place. President Felipe Calderón, a PAN member, may veto the Congressional bill but he would have no authority over the Mexico City measure.

Serrano said that lawmakers who fail to listen to the Catholic Church, which has threatened to excommunicate anyone who votes to legalize abortion, would be a grave error. He said the church is properly defending human life and "no one should be opposed to that."

Sen. Carlos Navarrete who heads the PRD in the Senate and filed the bill, claimed it was necessary to stop dangerous illegal abortions — although making abortion legal hasn’t made it safer.

“We need to stop thousands of women from dying in unsafe operations,” he told the Associated Press. "This is a right our laws should guarantee.”

But Calderon on Tuesday reiterated his opposition to abortion, according to an AP report.

“I have a personal conviction, and I am in defense of life,” he told a news conference. “I have a plain respect for dignity and human life and within this I believe the existing legislation is adequate.”

The bill also would mandate that government-financed health clinics do abortions if low-income women ask for them.

The Catholic 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."

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.

Related web sites:
Comite Nacional Pro Vida –