by Steven Ertelt
September 25, 2007
Managua, Nicaragua (LifeNews.com) — Pope Benedict XVI met with the new ambassador from Nicaragua to the Vatican on Monday and congratulated the Central American nation for recently renewing its ban on abortions. The pontiff told envoy Jose’ Cuadra Chamorro that the country should be proud to have stood up to pressure from the United Nations.
The Catholic leader told Chamorro that he valued the nation’s leadership on the world stage when it comes to debates on pro-life issues like abortion and human cloning.
He said Nicaragua has taken that stand "in the face of no small amount of internal and international pressure."
The pope also referred to the Nicaraguan parliament’s decision to reauthorize the country’s law that prohibits all abortions, including those for rape and incest or to save the life of the mother.
"It should be considered very positive that last year the National Assembly approved the revocation of therapeutic abortion," he said, according to a transcript provided to LifeNews.com.
The pope also told Chamorro that the nation should continue to provide help to pregnant women with the abortion ban in place.
"In this regard, it is essential to increase the assistance of the state and of society itself to women who have serious problems during pregnancy," he said.
Abortion advocates, led by the New York-based Americas for Human Rights Watch, have taken the law to court and the Nicaragua Supreme Court is expected to rule soon and it could result in the undermining of other pro-life laws in the region.
HRW claimed the ban violates international human rights standards and outs women’s health at risk. That’s despite research showing significant medical problems and health effects for women who have abortions.
However, Colin Mason of the Population Research Institute says HRW and other pro-abortion groups promoted a bogus case that was factually incorrect and was only meant to promote abortion.
Should they lose in the Nicaragua court, abortion advocates will head to the United Nations Human Rights Commission in New York or the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. The latter, an autonomous organ of the Organization of American States, says the new law is contrary to international documents.
Both agencies have issued previous rulings against Mexico and Peru in abortion cases.
Abortion advocates say the pro-life laws are resulting in the maternal deaths of women who have illegal abortions and Ipas estimates 30,000 Nicaraguan women have illegal abortions annually.
However, legalizing abortion in industrialized nations hasn’t made it any safer and Susan Yoshihara of Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute says she doubts the figures are accurate. She also said that most any doctor is willing to treat women following complications from an abortion.
The abortion ban put Nicaragua in league with thirty-four nations across the globe that prohibit all abortions.