Following the announcement that Uruguay's left-wing candidate won the country's recent presidential election, pro-life leader Alvaro Fernandez warned that “the ballot for life in Uruguay is frankly compromised,” as the newly elected leader has said he would not oppose a possible legalization of abortion, as did his predecessor, outgoing President Tabare Vasquez.
In an interview with CNA, Fernandez explained that president-elect Jose Mujica was a member of the Tupamaros during the 1970s, a Marxist group that resorted to violence to bring about social change in Uruguay. His wife, who was also a member, is also “clearly supportive of the legalization of abortion.”
Fernandez said the differences between the various presidential candidates “were notable, not only for exterior reasons or because of their different political styles, but also because of deep philosophical differences.”
For example, he said, former president and candidate of the National Party, Luis Lacalle, “had promised he would veto any law on abortion that was passed by Parliament. Mr. Mujica promised he wouldn’t put any obstacles against the law on abortion.”
In order to warn the fellow Uruguayans of the importance of the November 29 elections, Fernandez explained, Uruguayan pro-lifers took the streets on November 23 to protest the legalization of abortion, with some 3,500 participating.
“What is certain and sure is that the pro-life battle in Uruguay is frankly compromised,” Fernandez said, adding that pro-lifers “would continue fighting like always. We will do everything we can to achieve the impossible. We are counting on the prayers of all, and, much to the dismay of Mr. Mujica, on the help of Divine Providence.”
Carlos Polo, the director of the Office for Latin America of the Population Research Institute, told CNA, “While it is true that candidate Mujica said he supported abortion, President Mujica does not necessarily have to come down on the side of his personal convictions. He won by a very small margin and almost half of the country does not concur with his position.”
For this reason, Polo warned, “Mujica must govern everyone and not only a particular social or political group, as there is a growing social tendency in Uruguay against the legalization of abortion.”