Mexican Lawyers to Take Abortion Law to International Court

Mexican lawyers plan to take the capitol city's new abortion law to an international human rights court next week, according to a Reuters report published earlier today.

A law permitting abortion on demand during the first three months of pregnancy passed Tuesday in Mexico City in an assembly vote dominated by left-leaning members. Lawyers argue however that the abortion law violates the Mexican Constitution, which states that human life must be defended "from conception until its natural end."

"The College of Catholic Lawyers, a secular association of believers, is going to start an international campaign to take this case to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights…to show the world the lack of democracy in Mexico City," said Father Hugo Valdemar, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Mexico City.

The Church is prevented by law in Mexico from appealing the case to the Supreme Court. An appeal could be launched by opponents in the Mexico City assembly, but they lack the strength to bring one forward.

While support for the abortion law is divided in Mexico City, elsewhere in the country about 70% are opposed to abortion. Over 90% of Mexicans identify themselves as Catholics.

"Mexican culture is profoundly rooted in Christianity," Valdemar said. "The Church feels a pastoral right to defend life from the time it starts and to raise its voice and oppose these kind of perverse laws."

The liberal policies of Mexico City lawmakers resulted in the passage recently of a law recognizing homosexual civil unions, also passed in one other state. Next on the agenda is legislation permitting legal euthanasia in the country, which the city assembly has already been promoting.

Mexico City lawmakers flouted the policies of Mexico President Felipe Calderon and the National Action Party in legalizing abortion. President Calderon, who has taken a strong pro-life position, condemned the Mexico City push to introduce abortion.

Cardinal Norberto Rivera, Mexico's leading clergyman, is expected to address the new abortion law at Mass on Sunday. Pope Benedict XVI had encouraged the Mexican bishops to fight against the legislation.

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