Mexican bishops oppose bill to expand legal abortion

Mexico City, Mexico, Jun 1, 2019 / 03:03 am (CNA).- Three bishops expressed their opposition to a bill that would expand the legalization of abortion in Hidalgo state in Mexico.

In a joint video message, the bishops of the Ecclesiastical Province of Hidalgo called on lawmakers to scrap the bill and encouraged citizens to put pressure on the legislators to vote “in favor of life.”

The bill which seeks to reform the Penal Code of Hidalgo, was introduced March 21 by representatives Areli Miranda of the Democratic Revolution Party, and Viridiana Aceves of the Social Encounter Party, along with more than a dozen representatives of the National Regeneration Movement (Morena), the party of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

In the legislative proposal, the representatives state that “the embryo cannot be considered a person or human being before the first trimester of pregnancy is [concluded].”

Currently, abortion is decriminalized in Hidalgo in cases of rape up to 90 days from conception, and in cases of grave danger to the health of the mother or “serious genetic or congenital deformities” in the baby.

The bill seeks to decriminalize abortion on demand through the first trimester of pregnancy. In addition, the bill would allow abortion up to 6 months of pregnancy for minors, handicapped persons and in cases of rape.

Bishop Juan Pedro Juárez Meléndez of Tula stressed that “life is a fundamental and inalienable right and is the basis for all human rights.”

“As the day to pass or not pass the bill, to legalize or not legalize abortion, draws near, with respect and hope, we ask the citizen members of the (legislature) to cast their vote in favor of life,” he said.

“Abortion has no justification,” Juárez said. He lamented that “for more than 40 years, ideologies and big corporations have besieged life and have besieged the family.”

The bishop encouraged the priests in Hidalgo to “intensify evangelization and catechesis in favor of life and in favor of the family. In what we do or don’t do, we are playing with the future of our Hidalgo and the future of our Mexico.”

Archbishop Domingo Díaz Martínez of Tulancingo told the governor of Hidalgo, Omar Fayad Meneses, that expanding abortion will not serve the common good.

“Abortion is a problem, not a solution,” he said. “Defending life is the foundation for promoting the common good.”

Bishop José Hiraís Acosta Beltrán of Huejutla argued that “the people of Hidalgo aren’t asking for this law, don’t need this law and don’t deserve this law.”

He asked the faithful to contact their elected representatives and ask them to support life.

He also asked them to pray that the legislators would vote “in favor of life; the right of the will of the mother cannot be used against the right of the child to life.”

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