Honduran lawmakers voted Thursday to safeguard the right to life for unborn babies in their country in response to growing international pressure to legalize abortion.
Reuters reports the Congress of Honduras voted 88-28 in favor of legislation that would increase the vote threshold to 75 percent to repeal unborn babies’ constitutional right to life. To pass, the legislature must approve the measure a second time, but news outlets predicted that it will.
“Every human being has the right to life from the moment of conception,” said Congressman Mario Pérez, who introduced the measure last week.
Article 67 of the Honduran Constitution states that “the unborn will be considered born for everything that favors within the limits of the law.” It also prohibits abortions in all circumstances. Abortions have been illegal in the country since 1982.
According to the BBC, lawmakers were spurred to action after Argentina legalized abortions in December. They said they wanted to create a “shield against abortion” in Honduras, where most people support unborn babies’ right to life.
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Most Central and South American countries protect unborn babies’ right to life, but they face growing pressure from the United Nations and other international groups to legalize abortion on demand. Abortion advocacy groups, backed by some of the richest men in the world, hope the vote in Argentina will prompt neighboring countries to legalize abortions as well.
Earlier this week, abortion activists with the UN slammed Honduras for even considering a measure to strengthen protections for unborn babies.
“This bill is alarming. Instead of taking a step towards fulfilling the fundamental rights of women and girls, the country is moving backwards,” they said in a statement, the BBC reports.
But legalizing abortion does not save lives or help women. Abortions destroy unborn babies’ lives and often harm mothers physically and/or psychologically.
Research indicates that access to basic health care, not abortion, is what really helps improve women’s lives. For example, in 2018, Michelle Oberman, a Santa Clara University law professor, told the Atlantic that she was surprised when she began doing research on abortion in El Salvador. Abortions are illegal there, and she said she expected to find hospitals full of women dying from botched abortions, but she did not. According to Oberman’s research, better medical care, along with an increased availability of abortion drugs online, are leading to fewer maternal abortion deaths.
Pro-abortion groups often overestimate the number of illegal and unsafe abortions that occur in countries across the world.
A recent Washington Post fact check also found what pro-life advocates have been saying for years: that, in the United States, few women died from abortions in the decade prior to Roe v. Wade, and a rise in the use of antibiotics appears to be the biggest factor in the drop in maternal deaths, not legalized abortions.
Last year, medical groups representing more than 30,000 doctors in America emphasized that abortions are not “essential” or “urgent.” Common abortion complications include infections, blood clots, hemorrhaging and an incomplete abortion. Abortion risks include future preterm births, breast cancer, suicide, anxiety/depression, and death. And it is not true that abortions are safer than childbirth.