El Salvador Praised for Rejecting Pro-Abortion Ibero-American Convention

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 14, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

El Salvador Praised for Rejecting Pro-Abortion Ibero-American Convention

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
November 14
, 2008

San Salvador, El Salvador (LifeNews.com) — The tiny Central America nation El Salvador is earning praise from pro-life advocates for rejecting an international treaty that would promote abortion. The Hispanic nation’s president, Elias Antonio Saca, says he will not sign the Ibero-American Convention on the Rights of Youth (ICRY).

Saca affirmed his intentions at an Ibero-American leaders’ summit late last month and, according to a leading pro-life group, said it would violate El Salvador’s Constitution.

Piero Tozzi and Neydy Casillas Padrón, of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, tell LifeNews.com that Saca’s veto "cheered Latin American social conservatives who have been wary of articles in the Convention that they say promote" abortion.

Writing in the group’s Friday Fax publication, the pair say the ICRY is "backed by Spain’s socialist president, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, and has the support of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and Department of Economic and Social Affairs."

"Proponents tout the treaty as enhancing the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of young people between the ages of 15 and 24," they write.

But critics say it labels “sexual and reproductive health” a “right” and calls for “confidentiality” with respect to this right.

“Sexual and reproductive health” is used by United Nations (UN) committees and UN agencies to promote abortion, they explain, and add that the document undermines parental rights.

The pro-life advocates write that, although El Salvador rejected the ICRY, the nations participating in the 18th Annual Iberoamerican Summit also issued a non-binding Declaration of San Salvador and a corresponding Program of Action that critics find ambiguous and therefore troubling."

The Declaration calls for education in “sexual and reproductive health."

"Critics also point out that neither the Declaration nor the Program of Action were circulated publicly in draft form prior to their release, despite calls that governments do so to allow for greater citizen input," the CFAM authors note.

Julia Cardenal, a Salvadorian pro-life and pro-family activist, asked if the summit documents were “such a good thing for youth, why was everything done so secretly?”

CFAM’s Friday Fax publication notes that the ICRY went into effect in March when Costa Rica became the fifth country to ratify it.

In addition to El Salvador, Argentina, Chile, and Colombia have refused to sign the ICRY, and Peru’s legislature debated and rejected ratification. Guatemala, Mexico and Nicaragua have also balked at ratifying the Convention.

Related web sites:
Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute – https://www.c-fam.org

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