Dominican Republic Cardinal’s Abortion Comments Provoke Mixed Response

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 17, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Dominican Republic Cardinal’s Abortion Comments Provoke Mixed Response Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 17,

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic ( — The reaction has been mixed so far to an accusation by a Catholic leader in the Dominican Republic who alleged last week that United Nations officials and representatives of pro-abortion groups are trying to pay lawmakers in the nation’s Congress to legalize abortion.

Cardinal Nicholas De Jesus Lopez Rodriquez said members of some UN non-governmental organizations are resorting to bribery to get the legislators to back the abortion bill.

“There are powerful international hands behind this,” Rodriguez said. “To me, this is nothing strange. They have done it throughout the entire world.”

Amable Aristy Castro, the presidential candidate for the opposition PRSC party and Ramón Rogelio Genao, its leading representative in Congress, supported the comments.

Aristy Castro said his party would act “against the perverse attempts to legalize the death of innocent children" and report the vote-buying activities to Pope Benedict XVI next week.

Genao said there have been many of the normal pressures on Congress but did not give details to the Dominican Today newspaper, saying they were “the usual ones."

But ruling PLD party spokesman Alejandro Montás said he respected the cardinal but did not see any of the vote-buying activities Cardinal Rodriquez said were occurring.

The nation has become the latest abortion battleground in the region and its legislature has held two hearings on a measure to make abortion legal and plans to discuss it a third time.

The cardinal’s comments came during a forum on pro-life issues with Catholic youth in the nation’s capital city.

Abortion advocates are continuing the campaign to get the Latin American nation to reform its penal code and legalize abortion. They are making the nation their next target after getting Mexico City to legalize abortions there.

The proposal by several pro-abortion groups to legalize so-called therapeutic abortions has resulted in intense debate.

Abortion is currently illegal for any reason in the nation and those who do abortions face anywhere from six months to two years in prison for causing them.