by Steven Ertelt
November 28, 2007
Montevideo, Uruguay (LifeNews.com) — President Tabare Vazquez of Uruguay has reiterated his position against a bill pending in the South American nation’s Congress that would legalize abortion there. The country’s Senate has already signed off on the measure and the House of Representatives will soon consider it.
The Senate initially tied on a 15-15 vote but took a second vote earlier this month on the bill, which allows all abortions within the first 13 weeks of pregnancy. They approved it on an 18-13 vote.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Uruguay is working overtime to rally support against the measure in the House and to persuade Vasquez to veto it if it heads to him. Their efforts appear to have succeeded.
President Vazquez said Wednesday that he likes some parts of the bill but will ultimately veto it.
“The Law on Sexual and Reproductive Health has very positive elements that should be salvaged," he said. "But there are others that I do not agree with from a philosophical and biological perspective and therefore they will be vetoed.”
According to the president’s official web site, he made the comments in a speech entitled “People to People,” in which he informed residents of the South American nation about his plans as their leader.
Political observers tell LifeNews.com the House is expected to sign off on the abortion bill, making the president’s veto threat crucial.
Shortly after his election in 2005, the president said he would veto a bill to legalize abortion despite the fact that members of his own party are the ones behind it.
Should the House of Representatives and president support the bill or the Uruguay Congress override a veto, Bishop Pablo Galimberti, who said it violates the "first human right," plans to put together a signature campaign with the hopes of nullifying the law.
Raimundo Rojas, the Hispanic Outreach Director for the National Right to Life Committee, discussed the situation with LifeNews.com.
"The purveyors of abortion in Latin America are single minded in their determination to legalize the destruction of human life in the region," he said. "They are well funded and financially motivated to pressure the legislatures of as many countries as possible to reject their pro-life laws."
"But the hard working pro-lifers in those countries know that there is no equity for the unborn child who is destroyed, they know that the women who die from legal abortions did not have her best interest represented by the pro-abortionists," Rojas added.
Meanwhile, Bishop Galimberti told the daily Spanish “El Pais” he thought the president would veto the bill, adding, "His position is very commendable, very healthy and very hopeful."