by Steven Ertelt
October 30, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet is more than a physician in his native Cuba. He is an outspoken abortion opponent in a pro-abortion nation that doesn’t take kindly to dissent. On Monday, he will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom — America’s highest civil honor — in recognition of his struggles.
Biscet was arrested and served three years in a prison camp after publishing an article condemning abortion. After he was released, Biscet was again arrested and is serving 22 years in prison for anti-government views.
Born in Havana, Cuba, in 1961, Biscet received his degree as a specialist in internal medicine, and, by 1987, he was practicing and teaching obstetrics at the Hijas de Galicia hospital in the nation’s capital city.
In the early 1990s, the drug Rivanol was being used to provide young Cuban women with chemically induced abortions, Raimundo Rojas, the Hispanic Outreach Director for National Right to Life, tells LifeNews.com.
Dr. Biscet began researching and compiling evidence as to how this strong abortifacient was being used to destroy children. He also documented many accounts of children being killed after surviving this type of abortion.
Biscet eventually wrote a paper titled "Rivanol: A Method to Destroy Life," that he published in April 1998. Later that year, he denounced the Cuban National Health System as being a party to genocide, Rojas said.
Shortly thereafter, the nation’s health system officially expelled Biscet, preventing him from practicing medicine in Cuba.
In February 1999 Dr. Biscet staged a peaceful pro-life protest in front of an abortion facility notorious for providing Rivanol abortions. He and another pro-life doctor were savagely beaten by a mob.
"He was tried and sentenced to three years in jail for simply stating the truth," Rojas told LifeNews.com.
Biscet served the entirety of his three year term.
One month after his release, Dr. Biscet was arrested while meeting with other dissidents in a private home. He was again savagely beaten and this time sentenced to 25 years in jail, Rojas explained.
"His torture at the hands of Castro’s henchmen is well documented and he continues to speak from his cell for the dignity of all life including that of the unborn," Rojas says.
"Dr. Biscet is a champion of human rights and most deserving of this medal. As Cuban-born pro-life activist, I pray for Dr. Biscet and his family every day. I am most grateful to this administration for bringing to light the plight of this great man," Rojas added.
In a statement about Biscet, the White House said he "is a champion in the fight against tyranny and oppression."
"Despite being persecuted and imprisoned for his beliefs, he continues to advocate for a free Cuba in which the rights of all people are respected," the White House added.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom, first established in 1963, is the nation’s highest civil award.
The president gives the award to "any person who has made an especially meritorious contribution to (1) the security or national interests of the United States, or (2) world peace, or (3) cultural or other significant public or private endeavors."
President Bush will honor Hyde and other recipients at a White House ceremony on Monday.
Cuba is the exception to the norm when it comes to Latin American nations and abortions. Countries in Central and South America typically have strong pro-life laws prohibiting all or most abortions, in concert with their Catholic faith.
Cuba, on the other hand, legalized abortion 40 years ago and it has become a method of contraception.
According to the Communist Cuban government’s own numbers, an extraordinarily high six out of 10 (60.2%) pregnancies in Cuba end in abortion, the largest number of any nation in this hemisphere.
The high abortion rate in Cuba has also increased the number of women having complications and dying from the abortion procedure.
The Public Health Ministry’s Health Statistics Yearbook indicates 11 women died in 2004 alone from botched abortions. Cuba health officials believe that more than 70 percent of women who have infertility problems have a history of one or more abortions.
Abortions are legal in Cuba before the 10th week of pregnancy as long as they are done within the public health system. There were 67,277 abortions in 2004, which is a decline from nearly 161,000 in 1986.
Related web sites:
National Right to Life – https://www.nrlc.org