By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman, Latin America Correspondent
SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA, February 9, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The nation of Costa Rica has elected a new president who has successfully positioned herself as the "pro-life" candidate in the elections. But some are questioning if the president-elect really meets the the pro-life standard.
Laura Chinchilla, who is a Catholic, is famously opposed to relaxing the nation's abortion laws. She also rejects the creation of homosexual "marriage."
However, Chinchilla has made it clear that she supports the current laws of Costa Rica, which permit women to procure an abortion in cases of rape, and says she also supports "therapeutic" abortions in cases in which the mothers life is at risk.
The term "therapeutic abortion" is conventionally used to justify direct abortions in cases in which the mother has a variety of other conditions which could cause life threatening complications. Such abortions differ from indirect abortions that may unintentionally be caused by lifesaving medical treatments.
Although Chinchilla has positioned herself against homosexual "marriage," she has also made clear her support for special legal privileges for homosexual couples, particularly the right to inheritance, which correspond typically to "civil union" legislation.
Chinchilla's views stand in contradiction to her own Church's teaching on human life and sexuality. The Vatican has repeatedly stated that all direct abortions should be prohibited by law as a violation of the right to life of the unborn, and that homosexual unions cannot be in any way endorsed by governments.
Chinchillas positions differed little from her two major opponents, Otton Solis and Otto Guevara, who also reportedly sought to position themselves as "pro-life," while admitting exceptions.