Latin American pro-life leaders celebrate overturning of Roe v. Wade

Pro-lifers rally outside the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 1, 2021. Rena Schild via Shutterstock.

Pro-life leaders from all over Latin America expressed their joy as they celebrated the June 24 decision of the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion throughout the United States 49 years ago.

Latin American leaders described the ruling as “historic,” “momentous,” “a new legal precedent,” “similar to the end of slavery,” a “light in the midst of darkness,” and a “miracle” that took place on the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

El Salvador

Sara Larín, president of the VIDA SV Foundation in El Salvador, shared her feelings with ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language sister news agency: “We’re super happy! It’s the beginning of the end of abortion in the world,” she said. “This is the ruling that officially abolished the practice of abortion as a supposed constitutional right: it’s historic, just as much as the abolition of slavery.”

“Now each state will have the freedom to decide whether to prohibit or restrict abortion,” she continued. “In addition, that would impact federal policy decisions to prevent abortion from being financed as part of U.S. cooperative aid to other countries in the region. The decision of the Supreme Court will undoubtedly have a positive impact on Latin America.”

Larín said that the ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization “will mark a legal precedent that will be a point of reference for all experts in constitutional law around the world and will serve as a tool for justice for the protection of children's rights from the moment of conception.”

Ecuador

“We have seen light in the midst of darkness! We have seen a great defeat of a giant,” said Martha Villafuerte, the national director of Familia Ecuador, in an interview with ACI Prensa.

“This couldn’t be a more perfect moment … that strengthens the entire pro-life community in the world, where many countries have recently had unconstitutional attacks, unjust laws, and despite everything, today the United States gives us a wake-up call that rouses our convictions more than ever,” she said.

Villafuerte said that in Ecuador, “we couldn’t be happier.”

“We have a recent abortion law that’s a knife in the heart, but today we have received the perfect cure, the hope to rise up, fight harder, and achieve the victory of life,” she said.

Mexico

Speaking with ACI Prensa, Marcial Padilla, the director of ConParticipación, described the ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court as a “historic event” that will have a great “cultural” impact.

“This gives a clear and firm signal that the correct path based on science and ethics is to recognize and protect with equal dignity the mother and her unborn child. Thus, it’s a reminder that there’s a right to life, not the right to take life,” he said.

To Padilla, this ruling sends a clear signal to Latin America: “It’s possible to reverse the trend toward abortion in the laws and courts” and so “we must participate in the elections for government officials and the appointment of judges who respect human life at all times.” 

The president of the National Front for the Family, Rodrigo Iván Cortés, also shared his joy with ACI Prensa and noted that now various U.S. states “will be able to protect life and limit abortion.”

“Today is a day of profound joy, proof that human life can be defended in the law,” he said.

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Pilar Rebollo, director of Steps for Life in Mexico, said her organization is “full of hope” to see “how persevering work bears fruit.”

“It’s possible to overturn what seems written in stone,” she said. “The truth came down on it with its own weight and in Mexico we can’t give up, because no effort is in vain, especially since we are on the side of life and truth.”

Colombia

Jesús Magaña, president of United for Life, told ACI Prensa that the news was received in Colombia “with great joy.”

“We salute the Supreme Court of the United States with great admiration, respect, and affection. We wholeheartedly support these six brave judges who made it possible to win this nearly 50-year fight to restore the right to life of unborn babies,” he commented.

Magaña believes the ruling will have a “convincing effect on the entire region and especially in Colombia, because the decisions on abortion — C-355 in 2006 and C-051 by our Constitutional Court — have a substantial foundation in Roe v. Wade.”

“Now it will be possible to call into question this jurisprudence that has become a sort of ‘copy and paste’ of the 1973 pro-death ruling in the U.S.,” he said.

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Peru

The director of the Origin Association, Giuliana Caccia, told ACI Prensa that with the overturning of Roe v. Wade, “human rights will really begin to be defended” and, therefore, “it’s a day that’s a cause for pride and that’s worth celebrating.”

She also said the decision is like “pulling the rug out from under” all those bills that “base their arguments on this ruling.”

“What has happened today is the beginning of the end of abortion in the United States and in the world,” she said.

Bolivia

Elisa Lanza Sevilla, president of the Bolivian Platform for Life and Family and a director of Project Rachel, said that “there are no words to express so much emotion, so much joy, so much gratitude.”

“As a person working to defend life, I am thrilled to know that all over the world in pro-life groups, right now they are celebrating that a ruling that led to the death of millions of innocent children for 49 long years has come to an end,” she told ACI Prensa.

Lanza affirmed that “the expansion of the legalization of abortion in the world will be stopped” and this “silent holocaust” will end.

Finally, she thanked the “brave justices of the Supreme Court who brought the truth to light and fought for life to the end, regardless of putting their own lives at risk.”

Argentina

The director of CitizenGO campaigns in Argentina, Silvina Spataro, told ACI Prensa that “for those of us who defend life and family, this is the most important news in recent times.”

“It’s a historic ruling, and as such I believe that at this time we cannot fully assess the great importance it has and the scope that this measure will have,” she said.

Spataro recognized the “important role of Donald Trump” as president of the United States from 2017–2021, “since the votes of the three judges he appointed were essential.”

“I also want to highlight the strength of the civic-social participation of the pro-life movement in the United States, which remains strong, and the pressure from citizens that can be applied when we work in an organized manner,” she added.

Spataro said that “celebrating this great achievement has to strengthen us in standing firm in the defense of life from conception.”

“Just as slavery was reversed when it seemed impossible, it has to happen the same way to abortion; we have to continue working until it’s unthinkable for a mother to kill her child in her womb,” she concluded.

Dr. María José Mancino, founder and president of Doctors for Life in Argentina, also shared with ACI Prensa her happiness and said her organization is “united, happy, encouraged, and strengthened.”

“It is a victory, totally! Everyone from their place in life, we all gave everything, the call, our time, our resources, our sorrows and joys for this day,” she said. “It’s not just another day for any of the pro-life movements.”

Mancino said this “is the best news of the year and the best gift we can receive on the feast days of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and St. John the Baptist.”

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.