Monday April 27, 2009
Pro-abortion opposition announces strategy to defeat measures using "human rights" complaints
By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman
MEXICO, April 27, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The wave of pro-life constitutional amendments sweeping Mexico continued last week with the approval of two such measures by the states of Quintana Roo and Campeche.
Meanwhile, a representative of a pro-abortion group cited plans to thwart the newly-passed legislation with a strategy of "human rights" complaints to state officials.
In the state of Quintana Roo, in the Yucatan Peninsula, a pro-life amendment was passed on April 21 with multipartisan support, in an 18-6 vote. The state's new article 13 says: "The state of Quintana Roo recognizes, protects, and guarantees the right to life of every human being, holding expressly that from the moment of conception it enters under the protection of the law, and is treated as a subject of rights for all corresponding legal effects until its death, save the exceptions that are established by law."
In Campeche, just to the west of Quintana Roo, an amendment passed with the overwhelming majority of 26-2, with broad multiparty support. The language of the state's amendment was similar to that of Quintana Roo, saying that it protects life "from the moment of fertilization or conception until its natural death, with the exceptions already foreseen in ordinary legislation."
Although both amendments allow for exceptions in state legislation, they will likely prevent activist judges from imposing the legalization of abortion, and may prevent new legislation inspired by Mexico City's two-year-old abortion on demand law from being passed at the state level.
Aidé García, a member of the pro-abortion organization "Catholics for the Right to Decide," a group that has been officially condemned by the Catholic Church, told La Jornada that the group would be appealing to the state human rights commissions. Garcia claimed that abortion is a protected right under article 4 of Mexico's Constitution, which states that women have the right to decide the number and timing of their children. However, the article does not mention abortion.
The president of Baja California's Human Rights Commission has already brought suit against the state's pro-life amendment in Mexico's Supreme Court of Justice.
The passage of the amendments in the two states brings the number of states to ten that have recently altered their constitutions in some way to protect the right to life from conception or fertilization, including: Nayarit, Durango, Jalisco, Morelos, Chihuahua, Sonora, Colima, and Puebla.