by Steven Ertelt
April 27, 2007
Mexico City, Mexico (LifeNews.com) — A lay group for Catholic attorneys is planning to take the new law allowing abortions up to 14 weeks of pregnancy in the Mexican capital to court once the city’s mayor signs it into law. The College of Catholic Lawyers plans to file a formal complaint with an international court.
The group joins pro-life advocates across Mexico who are upset that the capital city’s legislative assembly approved the bill, which abortion activists hope will be a precursor for legalizing abortion nationwide.
Father Hugo Valdemar, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Mexico City, told Reuters about the plans for the legal complaint.
He said the Catholic lawyers group "is going to start an international campaign to take this case to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights … to show the world the lack of democracy in Mexico City."
The Costa Rica-based court is a part of the Wednesday to the Costa Rica-based rights court, an arm of the Organization of American States.
Valdemar said the thrust of the debate will be that Mexico’s constitution provides for protection for all human life — including unborn children — "from conception until its natural end."
He said that the church can’t take the law to court in Mexico because the nation’s law forbids its political involvement and he told Reuters that pro-life groups in Mexico City that opposed the bill are not able to back a lawsuit there because they’re underfunded and underdeveloped.
Valdemar told Reuters that the Catholic church would continue speaking against abortion and standing up for the majority of Mexicans who oppose legal abortion in their country.
"Mexican culture is profoundly rooted in Christianity," Valdemar said. "The church feels a pastoral right to defend life from the time it starts and to raise its voice and oppose these kind of perverse laws."
Pro-life groups are accusing abortion advocates in the United States of buying the abortion vote.
In a statement sent to LifeNews.com, Rev. Thomas Euteneuer, the president of Human Life International, explained that one of the determining factors in the Mexico City abortion vote was millions of American dollars that were pumped into Mexico to undermine the nation’s longtime pro-life culture.
According to HLI, the pro-abortion group GIRE alone received more than $5 million from 1999 to 2004 to try to overturn Mexico’s laws protecting unborn children and Planned Parenthood’s affiliate MexFam received $3.4 million from 2002-2004.
The bill also forces government-financed health clinics to do abortions if low-income women ask for them and be paid under the city’s health insurance plan, putting an additional financial strain on it.
While legal abortions in very limited cases such as rape and incest occur in various parts of the country, Mexico largely prohibits abortions — and the measure is the first step in overturning those laws.
Polls show residents of Mexico City split on abortion but well over 60 percent of Mexicans nationwide don’t want abortion legalized.