Defense of Life Summarized in 10 Points
Mexico Continues Battle Over Abortion
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MEXICO CITY, MAY 21, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Good reasons to fight against the legalization of abortion can be summarized in 10 basic points, affirm pro-lifers in Mexico.
Dioceses throughout the nation will participate in a march for life this Sunday, convoked by the Mexican bishops' conference's department of lay pastoral ministry. In preparation for the march, an official from the organization Manos a la Vida -- a play on words with the Spanish expression "manos a la obra" (let's get to work) -- prepared a 10-point summary of the basic arguments against abortion.
Some of the points deal with the ongoing legal battle regarding abortion in Mexico. On April 25, 2007, a law went into effect legalizing abortion just within the nation's capital during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Since this April 11, Mexico's Supreme Court has been considering if the law is unconstitutional. Thus, the legality of abortion in Mexico is at a crossroads, with the possibility of it being struck down or eventually being extended throughout the country. Testimonies before the court are expected to continue for several months.
Rodrigo Guerra López, the author of the 10-point summary, takes into account scientific, legal and philosophical considerations.
The guide for defending life affirms, for example, that "the first human right, without which no other right can be exercised, is the right to life. A society that does not recognize this right fully and unreservedly undermines the bases of […] democracy, the common good, social justice and the development of an authentically human culture."
Turning to a scientific consideration, one of the points explains, "The human embryo is an organism with its own genotype, metabolism, immune system and a development process oriented toward a particular goal. Even if it is very fragile and dependent on the maternal womb, the human embryo is biologically identifiable as an individual distinct from the mother's body."
"Every human being has the full right to preserve the integrity of his or her own body," the declaration continues. "The human embryo also possesses this right, even though it possesses different capacities that those of a developed adult. Therefore, the body of the woman cannot be considered superior in dignity to the body of the recently conceived human being. The different capacity of the human embryo cannot be considered a motive for discrimination and less for suppression. Both mother and child possess the same dignity and merit the same respect."
The 10-point summary further affirms: "The woman's free will presupposes the exercise of the right to life. In the name of free will, neither one's own life nor the life of another can be taken. Liberty should not be used against that which is its base. When someone's liberty destroys life, authoritarian despotism begins -- that which has guided the worst regimes of both right and left in recent history.
"The lack of mental activity in the embryo due to the low grade of development of its central nervous system cannot be used as an argument in favor of the legalization of abortion. Mental life presupposes human life, not vice versa. Human beings possess the same dignity independently of the level of success with which we manifest our rationality, our liberty or any other capacity."
"It is necessary to fight equally in favor of the rights of the mother and of her child. Both are equally valuable," the document concludes. "Both merit our highest level of solidarity and our most radical commitment."