by Steven Ertelt
March 26, 2007
Mexico City, Mexico (LifeNews.com) — The Vatican has sent a leading official to Mexico to help the Catholic Church and pro-life advocates there stop two bills that would legalize abortion. Leftist legislators have filed bills in the Mexico Congress and the capital city’s legislature to legalize abortion within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
The church has a long pro-life stance but it doesn’t want to see another nation legalize abortion on the heels of Portugal’s parliament passing a measure taking the European nation’s name off of a list of pro-life countries.
Also, Mexico has the second largest Catholic population anywhere in the world and a defeat there would be a blow to the pro-life movement and could lead to the toppling of pro-life laws found in virtually all of the Central and South American nations.
Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo will head to Mexico on behalf of the Vatican to help lead pro-life efforts by organizing events and rallying both pro-life advocates and lawmakers against the legalization proposal.
The first event was a pro-life rally on Sunday that drew several thousand of Mexicans.
Mexico City Cardinal Norberto Rivera led a march of about 25 city blocks worth of people to the Basilica of the Virgin of Guadalupe, Mexico’s patron saint.
"We are united here so that they hear our voice, the voice of life," Rivera said, according to an AP report.
"The people are in favor of life," said Jorge Alberto Serna, an anti-poverty activist who attended the march. He said lawmakers trying to make abortion legal "are not listening to the society."
The results of a January poll sponsored by the polling firm Consulta Mitofsky were released last week.
While a strong majority of people favored using condoms or birth control to prevent pregnancies, only 32.1 percent of those polled said they agreed with abortion.
Breaking the results down by political party, only 30 percent of people who side with the conservative National Action Party (PAN) agree with abortion while just 28.7 percent of those who identify themselves as members of the leftist Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) back abortion.
The numbers are important because the PRD party is sponsoring the pro-abortion legislation.
The Mexico City bill is seen as more likely to pass and PAN President Felipe Calderon is expected to veto the congressional measure.
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.
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.
Related web sites:
Comite Nacional Pro Vida – https://www.comiteprovida.org