Catholics Call Uruguay Vote to Legalize Abortion a “Sad Day”

International   |   Adam Cassandra   |   Oct 18, 2012   |   4:08PM   |   Montevideo, Uruguay

The Pastoral Office for Family and Life of the Catholic Archdiocese of Montevideo issued a statement expressing “profound sorrow” following the vote Wednesday in Uruguay’s Senate decriminalizing abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

“This decision goes against the first human right which is the right to life, contradicts the Constitution of the Republic and the Treaty of San Jose of Costa Rica, is an aggression inflicted on the most innocent human beings, and is therefore an assault on the Uruguayan society as a whole and an affront to God the Creator,” the statement read.

“We are gratified that we were one of the first countries to abolish the death penalty. Today we are saddened to become the second country in Latin America to legalize abortion.”

Cuba is the only other Latin American country to allow abortion on demand. Abortion is legalized in other countries in the region only under certain circumstances, such as rape, for the life of the mother or because the child will be born disabled.

Uruguay’s lower house of Congress passed the same measure last month to decriminalize abortion, and Uruguayan President Jose Mujica has publicly stated that he will sign the bill into law.

Following the House vote, Human Life International (HLI) President Father Shenan J. Boquet said in a press release, “Abortion does not save a single life—rather, it takes millions of lives and harms millions of women physically, emotionally and spiritually. It is critical that we continue to educate Uruguay’s citizens and lawmakers about the great harm abortion causes to women, and to the future of a nation.”

According to the bill, a woman wanting to have an abortion first meets with a physician, who then refers her to a panel of psychologists, gynecologists and social workers. The woman then has five days of reflection before deciding to have the abortion.



“This is a sad day for Uruguay,” the Archdiocese said. “This is a country that served as a refuge for many people who came in search of better opportunities. This is a society where many people found reasons to continue to live. Today this country denies other Uruguayans the right to live. This law approved today by the Senators is a wound in the nation, to the noblest traditions of our land.

“Because we place our trust in Christ, Lord of life and history, we continue to look at our future with hope, and to contribute to the defense of human life from conception to natural death.” Note:  Reprinted with permission from Human Life International’s World Watch forum. Adam Cassandra is a Communications Specialist at Human Life International.