A Catholic pro-life worker cried foul yesterday about a recent BBC report on a pro-choice organization and their efforts to legalize abortion in Latin America.
Julia Regina de Cardenal, president of Fundación Sí a la Vida (Yes to Life Foundation), claims that the Oct. 16 BBC report on Catholics For a Free Choice (CFC) is biased, that the group "is not Catholic and its members are anti-Catholic activists."
"The organization exists precisely for the purpose of pushing abortion acceptability worldwide," she said.
The BBC report about an international conference in Mexico, which focused on how illegal abortions in Latin America are the major cause of death or illness among women, was largely based on the testimony of a Peruvian woman, who nearly died from an infection and a ruptured uterus after receiving an abortion at an illegal abortion clinic.
In the report, Maria Consuelo Mejilla, director of Catolicas por el Derecho a Decidir (Latin American branch of CFC) and chair of the conference, said abortion is one of the top three causes of maternal death in Latin American countries. The article claims that in Peru an estimated 50,000 women either die or suffer serious injury after an illegal abortion by unqualified medical personnel each year. The organization essentially argue that the only way to reduce the number of deaths is to make abortion legal.
"The article appears to be written by one of their publicity people, not by an independent professional journalist," said de Cardenal. "I see no apparent attempt to verify figures, statistics or interview those with another point of view."
For the most part, judiciaries in Latin America protect the right to life for all, including the unborn, said de Cardenal, whose organization offers women the support they need to continue their pregnancies. "The Latin American people do not want legalized abortion," she said. "Virtually every attempt to legalize abortion legislatively in Latin American countries has been defeated."
Many of the attempts to change the laws regarding abortion in Latin America "come from efforts designed and supported by foreign interests," says de Cardenal.
She claims that Catholics for a Free Choice is "a U.S.-based organization which receives millions of dollars" from large U.S. foundations, such as the Ford Foundation.
"If outsiders really care about us as Latin American women, they will provide desperately needed assistance to improve maternal health care, not manipulate public opinion to favor the killing of our children in the womb," she said.