The Catholic bishops of Mexico criticized their country’s Supreme Court this week for ignoring the rights of unborn babies in a new ruling decriminalizing abortions in the state of Coahuila.
On Tuesday, the court ruled that the state’s pro-life laws are unconstitutional because they punish abortionists and others for abortions. Reuters reports Supreme Court Justice Luis Maria Aguilar praised the unanimous ruling as a “historic step for the rights of women” in Mexico, and abortion activists expressed hope that it will lead to legalized abortion on demand across the country.
But the Catholic bishops said the court did not consider that the matter involves the rights of two valuable human beings: the mother and her child, Catholic news site Agenzia Fides reports.
“Faced with the apparent dilemma of not criminalizing the woman who aborts and preserving the life of the unborn child, the Court has chosen to rule out the second, without seeking to safeguard both,” the bishops responded in a statement.
While sending women to prison is not a good solution for abortions, they said unborn babies also must be protected under the law.
“No woman should be forced to make the dramatic decision to resort to the practice of abortion, a situation that in a large number of cases leaves profound pain,” they continued. “In this sense, we are aware that prison is not a solution to the problem of women who abort.”
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At the same time, the right to life of all human beings – including those who are not yet born – should not be “conditioned, discriminated against or subject to the will or decision of a third party,” the bishops said.
“The Court’s resolution makes a dangerous and disproportionate contrast between the content and limits of what [it] calls ‘the right of women to decide’ against ‘the constitutional protection of the unborn,’” they said.
Acknowledging that abortion is a “complex” matter, the Catholic leaders urged society to work to protect the rights of mothers, babies and all human beings. They called for “a renewed commitment from all political actors, the academic community, churches and civil organizations to guarantee the protection of women in all circumstances, whether pregnant or not, in the respect for the human right to life of both the mother and the unborn child.”
In Mexico, states are allowed to pass their own laws regarding abortion, and most protect unborn babies’ right to life. Earlier this year, Veracruz became the fourth state to legalize abortion, after Mexico City, Oaxaca and Hildago; however, 28 states in the country still protect unborn babies by banning abortions.
Abortion activists have been pressuring Mexican leaders for years to repeal pro-life laws that protect unborn babies, sometimes resorting to violent protests, vandalism and threats. Roman Catholic churches especially have been targets of pro-abortion violence in recent years.
In April, federal leaders postponed voting on a bill to legalize abortions in Mexico, but pro-life advocates expect lawmakers will resurrect it. Previously, Rodrigo Iván Cortés, president of the National Front for the Family, told ACI Prensa that President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and other leaders of the National Regeneration Movement are the politicians who are pushing to legalize abortion nation-wide.
Pro-abortion groups, funded by some of the richest men in the world, are putting pressure on Mexico and other Central and South American countries to legalize the killing of unborn babies in abortions.