14 May 2007

The Time has Come My Friends To Talk of Other Things

BBC noted it best, "Mexico City's legislative assembly has voted to legalise abortion in the city, the capital of the world's second-largest Roman Catholic country." The capital used to allow abortions only in relation to rape, the risk of woman's life or in signs of severe defects in the fetus but as of last month, abortion is now legal within the first 12 weeks of conception.

This law has opened a real debate within the city between the conservatives and the liberals, those pro-choice and those pro-life. Being such a religious country, bulletin boards have popped up around the capital in aversion to the new law.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at <span class=Photobucket" border="0"> "abort the law, not the life"

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at <span class=Photobucket" border="0"> "you can abort him, but then you'd be the parents of a dead child"

Others that I haven't seen but are posted on DenMeChance.org:
un héroe para tu hijo: sálvale la vida -- Be a hero to your baby: Save his life

A un hijo se le defiende con la vida -- You defend a child with your life (this translation is difficult)

Que no te engañen: desde la concepción ya es bebé -- So that they don't trick you: From conception it's a baby

Un bebé no se sabe de leyes: pero tiene derecho a vivir -- A baby doesn't know about laws: But he has the right to life

denmechance.org has taken a strong stance against abortion saying that it is a dictatorial move rather than a democratic one. According to the makers of this site, this law has opened a debate about liberalization, a different kind of liberalization than we are used to discussing as intelligent, cultured, and well-read folk: "Liberalization in this case means the acceptance that the voluntary interruption of a pregnancy is nothing wrong, that it's a private decision or that it depends on what any one person thinks about it. In a word, the acceptance of the principle that anyone can decide if another is human or not, when he is human and when -- because no one
has described the human characteristic --, one can take away life without committing a crime." (“ Liberalización significa en este caso la aceptación de que la interrupción voluntaria delembarazo no es en algo malo, que es decisión delorden privado o que depende de lo que cadaquién piense al respecto. En una palabra, la aceptación del principio de que alguien puededecidirsi otro es o no es humano, cuando ya lo es, y cuandoporque nadie le ha otorgado la característica de humano-, se le puede privar de la vida sin cometer un crimen.) (in Spanish here)

These people are attempting to turn away from the usual godly anti-abortion debate and direct their disdain more toward the political, economic and scientific population. The problem with that argument is that the well-educated community understands and accepts that abortions will happen, legally or not. Without this law, women without the means or the will to bare a child will run to their nearest "coyote" (here coyote is an unlicensed person who works as if with a license) and abort the child anyway. This manner of abortion, as we all have seen and heard is atrocious, resulting in severe scarring, internal bleeding, the inability to have children when they are wanted, and death.
There are an estimated 200,000 illegal abortions in Mexico each year.

Of women who opt for illegal procedures, at least 1,500 women die during botched operations performed in unhygienic backstreet clinics" (BBC News)

Of course, as was and is often pointed out to me, a line must be drawn somewhere. It is plausible to say "well, it's going to happen anyway and it's going to be worse when it does, so we should legalize it and make it safer." Of course I don't believe all things should be legal.

But I digress, the point isn't whether abortion should or should not be legal, but that it is now legal and how it's affecting Mexico City.

The Catholic Church has promised to ex-communicate anyone who participates in an abortion, a possible means to strong arm the country into winning back it's waning power? I can't say for certain, but that the power of the catholic church is receding, at least here in Mexico City, is clear. (see the Kaisernetwork.org for this: Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday during a plane trip from Rome to Sao Paulo, Brazil, "seemed to suggest" the Mexico City legislators who voted for a law that allows pregnant women to obtain a legal abortion during the first three months' gestation had excommunicated themselves from the church, the New York Times reports. "Yes, the excommunication isn't something arbitrary -- it's part of the code" of church law, the pope said, adding, "The killing of an innocent human child is incompatible with going into communion in the body of Christ" (Fisher/Rohter, New York Times, 5/10). ) If 18,000 naked people posing for pictures in front of Mexico's first Cathedral isn't proof enough, it says much that the church had no sway over an extremely active leftist community, in spite of the conservative government that claims power over it.

Of course, a court battle is underway to overturn the ruling and a great battle between conservatives and liberals, godly and ex-communicated is underway. But I can say that not even in a city where 90% of it's 106 million residents is Catholic (again BBC News), do I see this decision being overturned any time soon.

1 comment:

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