Catholics Lead Push as Nicaragua Moves Closer to Ban on All Abortions
Decision supported by majority of the population
By Gudrun Schultz
MANAGUA, Nicaragua, Oct. 23, 2006 (www.LifeSiteNews.com) - A Nicaraguan Parliamentary committee approved proposed legislation last week that would ban all abortions in the country, including the deliberate abortion of a child when the mother’s life was in danger.
The measure will be debated at a national assembly hearing before a final vote is taken next week, BBC News reported Saturday. The legislation is expected to pass the vote.
Abortion is currently permitted in the predominantly Catholic country if the mother’s life is thought to be in danger. A proposal to permit “therapeutic” abortions was brought before the National Assembly in April 2006, fueled by the highly publicized 2003 case of a nine-year-old girl made pregnant by rape and given an illegal abortion.
Nicaraguan churches, in particular Roman Catholic and evangelical, responded to increasing pressure by feminist organizations for abortion on demand by working to close the remaining loophole in the country‘s abortion laws.
A massive pro-life demonstration of more than 10,000 people in the country’s capital earlier this month, organized by the Catholic bishops and evangelical pastors, encouraged National Assembly leader Rene Nuñez to sponsor the legislation.
“Unless abortion is made a crime, then people can simply come out and say: ‘I have the right to an abortion, this is my body and I can decide,’” said Orlando Tardencilla, a member of the sub-committee which proposed the bill.
“That’s like saying: ‘I’m allowed to commit murder because these hands are mine, this gun is mine.’”
Managua Archbishop Leopoldo Brenes, who led the demonstration, said, “Therapeutic abortion is a door through which abortion could be legalized in Nicaragua, as has unfortunately happened in other countries.”