Uruguay President Tabaré Vázquez Vetoes Bill to Legalize Abortion

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 1, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Uruguay President Tabaré Vázquez Vetoes Bill to Legalize Abortion

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
May 1
, 2008

Montevideo, Uruguay (LifeNews.com) — Uruguay President Tabaré Vázquez is getting support from religious groups in the South American nation for his vetoing a bill that would legalize abortion. Christian churches and groups welcomed his veto of a bill to allow first-trimester abortion on virtually any grounds.

Vázquez defied the votes of his party in the Uruguay Congress to expand the nation’s abortion law, which currently only allows abortions in cases of protecting the mother’s life, rape or extreme poverty.

Religious groups of several denominations signed a document expressing their appreciation for the president, who is an OBGYN by trade.

In the letter, the Christian leaders and officials from the Catholic Church said the bill contradicts "the un-renounceable ethical principle of the defense of life.”

They said “the true well-being of the mother cannot be protected without protecting that of her child as well, or vice versa."

Representatives of Anglican, Armenian Apostolic, Baptist, Greek Orthodox, and Pentecostal churches also signed the letter.

President Vazquez initially said in November he would veto the bill.
“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.

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.

The Senate initially tied on a 15-15 vote in approving the bill but eventually approved it on an 18-13 vote.

Raimundo Rojas, the Hispanic Outreach Director for the National Right to Life Committee, previously 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 their best interests represented by the pro-abortionists," Rojas added.