In a statement sent to CNA on Nov. 16, the fifteen Uruguayan pro-life organizations said that “the right to life, like all human rights in general, is not dependent on majorities or minorities.”
By a vote of 50-49, the Uruguayan congress passed a law during a late-night session on Sept. 25 legalizing abortion up to the 12th week of pregnancy.
“Anything can be put to an 'all or nothing' vote, but never human rights, and much less the right to life,” the groups said.
“The legalization of abortion was the result of international pressure exerted on our governors and legislators by local activists.”
In their statement, they also argued that Uruguay's abortion law, which was signed by President Jose Mujica, “ignores scientific data, which unequivocally points to the beginning of the life of a new human being at conception.”
“The Constitution, the laws and norms that govern parliamentarian action have been trampled upon in the desire to enact at all costs a bill that, in recognizing the mother’s right to dispose of the life of her child, is contrary to the San Jose of Costa Rica Pact, signed and ratified by our country,” they said.
The legalization of abortion, they underscored, has led in many countries “to a sustained increase in legal abortions throughout the years.”
“The law has an educational role that cannot be ignored, and with abortion no longer seen as wrong, an ‘abortion culture’ is slowly established in a country where courage and respect for human life are per se already deteriorated.”
Moreover, “clandestine abortion will continue to exist, since the law demands that a legal abortion be recorded in the woman’s clinical record and that she undergo counseling.”
“The clandestine circle of abortion will not disappear, and consequently we are dealing with a law that is not only contrary to rights, but also ineffective in the ends it supposedly is pursuing,” they said.
For this reason, they urged Uruguayan officials to focus on helping women who become pregnant in difficult circumstances, instead of promoting abortion.
“It concerns us that our lawmakers don’t seem to have the least interest in offering real and supportive help to these mothers who are alone,” they said.
“We invite all citizens to sign this campaign that begins today in defense of that which has always been a source of pride for our society, the respect for the rights of others and the defense of equality for all before the law.”
Pro-life organizations in Uruguay have launched a signature drive for the country's political parties to repeal the newly enacted abortion law in their campaigns for the 2014 elections.