Pope Weighs in as Mexico Nears Abortion Vote

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MEXICO CITY, APRIL 24, 2007 (Zenit.org).- In a letter written on behalf of Benedict XVI, the Vatican secretary of state expressed concern over a bill aiming to legalize abortion in the federal district of Mexico.



The letter, dated last Wednesday and addressed to Bishop Carlos Aguiar Retes, the president of the Mexican episcopal council, anticipated the vote that was expected today.

The letter said the Pope "unites himself to the Church in Mexico and so many people of good will, concerned about the Federal District legislation that threatens the life of unborn children."

"During this time of Easter, with the resurrection of Christ, we are celebrating the triumph of life over death," the message said. "This great gift moves us to protect and defend -- with firm decisiveness -- the right to life of every human being from the first moment of conception, in the face of every manifestation of the culture of death."

Mexico's current law permits abortion only in special cases, including rape, presumed birth defects or if the mother's life is in danger. The legislation currently being debated would allow abortion through the first trimester. It would apply only to the federal district, though lawmakers have made a proposal for a national law.