Sustained pushback against abortion, gender ideology at OAS meeting 

Organization of American States Members of the civil society organization Actívate (Get Active) celebrated the appointment of new judges to the InterAmerican Court of Human Rights, especially highlighting the election of Peruvian Alberto Borea and Paraguayan Diego Moreno "for not being promoters of abortion." | Credit: Actívate

The 54th regular session of the general assembly of the Organization of American States was held from June 26–28 in Paraguay. The event brought together representatives from various countries and civil society organizations to discuss various issues, including life and gender ideology.

The digital platform Actívate (Get Active), which represents more than 20 civil society organizations, attended this assembly and shared its conclusions with ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner.

Actívate reported in a statement that at the session, civil society representatives from Mexico, El Salvador, and Paraguay “firmly opposed the establishment of a progressivist regime and against supposed ‘reproductive rights.’”

According to the platform, many participating countries faced pressure to adopt “an anti-life agenda,” which included allocating resources to promote “abortion, the morning-after pill, and eliminating their classification from the penal code.”

The digital platform also denounced the “widespread discrimination and censorship in Latin America against people and groups that defend fundamental rights such as life, family, and freedoms, labeling us as ‘anti-rights’ and ‘conservative,’ forcing us to remain silent or change our discourse.” 

Actívate also celebrated the appointment of new judges to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, especially highlighting the election of Peruvian Alberto Borea and Paraguayan Diego Moreno “for not being promoters of abortion.”

Paraguay stands for life, family, sovereignty

Especially notable during the assembly were statements by the deputy minister of foreign affairs of Paraguay, Víctor Alfredo Verdún Bitar, because of his country’s position on issues such as abortion and gender ideology.

Verdún made it clear that in Paraguay the national constitution establishes “that the right to life is inherent to the human person, guaranteeing its protection in general, from conception.”

The Paraguayan official advocated for “equality of rights between both sexes,” in line with the constitutional framework of his country, and referred to an interpretation of the term “gender” based on the biological sex of people, “recognizing only two categories: man and woman."

He also highlighted the need to use “clear and precise terms, avoiding ambiguities in their interpretation and ensuring consistency with the legal system.”

Regarding equality and nondiscrimination, the deputy minister of foreign affairs stressed that, although “individual freedoms and the intrinsic dignity of each human being are the fundamental pillars of our fight against discrimination,” these positions “should in no case compromise the fundamental freedoms of people.” 

Verdún said that in his country, Paraguayans “reject any attempt to use the argument of hate speech to silence voices from some sectors.”

The Paraguayan official stressed that “none of the positions that Paraguay holds involve discrimination, hatred, or any setback.” On the contrary, he said, “by constitutional principle, Paraguay defends nondiscrimination, equality before the law, and fundamental freedoms, including religious and ideological freedom, as well as freedom of speech and thought.”

He also encouraged all countries in the region to “build bridges that allow us to move forward, avoiding impositions that only deepen divisions and polarizations.” He ended his speech by stating: “And finally, I wish to state for the record so that there may be no doubt that Paraguay is life, Paraguay is family, and Paraguay is sovereign.”

Paraguay’s position hailed

Rodrigo Iván Cortés, president of the National Front for the Family of Mexico and vice president of the Political Network for Values, applauded “the strength, clarity, and positivity” of the message that Verdún gave.

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Through a video shared on social media, the pro-family leader applauded the government representative for making it clear “that the fundamental right is life and is also based on the constitution itself.” Cortés also expressed his appreciation for Paraguay taking a position against the use of the term “hate speech to cancel the voices of those who defend life, family, and freedoms.”

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

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