Abortion a New Form of Colonialism, Say Argentine Bishops

As Vote Nears on a Protocol of U.N. Agreement

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BUENOS AIRES, MARCH 16, 2005 (Zenit.org).- The Permanent Commission of the Argentine bishops' conference warns that the promotion of abortion, a measure in open opposition to the country's Constitution, is a new form of colonialism.



The bishops consequently appealed to their country's lawmakers to reject the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), which is about to be voted on in the Chamber of Deputies.

CEDAW, adopted in 1979 by the U.N. General Assembly, is often billed as an international bill of rights for women. It comprises a preamble and 30 articles.

What has stirred controversy is not the content of the protocol, which states that all "human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights," but the existence of the 23-nation CEDAW Committee, which recently have pronounced itself in favor of "safe abortion," recommending its legalization and promotion in hospitals.

The episcopal statement, published Tuesday and entitled "Let Us Always Bet on Life," insists that "the defense of fundamental human rights must be the concern of all citizens."

"The first of them is, precisely, the right to life, which must be protected from conception until natural death. As citizens and Christians, we are impelled to give witness to this truth," says the statement.

"Argentine law, which establishes the basic guidelines of coexistence among citizens, lays with clarity the foundations of the defense of life and considers abortion a crime," continues the declaration.

Commenting on the argument put forth to legalize abortion, the Argentine bishops said that they "reflect the neocolonialist characteristics that some international organizations try to impose on our country and on the whole of Latin America."

"We cannot but recall the famous 'Kissinger Report,' which already in the decade of the '70s warned about the 'consequences of the worldwide population growth for the security of the United States and its overseas interests,'" they say.

"Furthermore, our commitment in favor of woman's rights cannot depend on agreements and recommendations that endeavor to guarantee the practice of abortion as a public service," they note.

"For this reason we draw the attention particularly of our lawmakers to the danger of cultural dependence that the imminent ratification of the CEDAW's Option Protocol would entail," stresses the declaration.

"We encourage all not to let themselves be deceived by arguments and statistics never proved, which support abortifacient tendencies," the prelates add. "Induced death cannot be the way to solve our problems. Let us defend life, let us take care of life, let us always bet on life."