By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman
MORELIA, MEXICO April 28, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Canadian Catholic bishops’ foreign aid organization, the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP), is funding an organization in the Mexican state of Michoacan that refers women to government hospitals to receive abortifacient “emergency contraception,” LifeSiteNews has learned.
The group, called the Women in Solidarity Action Team (Equipo Mujeres en Acción Solidaria – EMAS), also campaigns to legalize abortion and to streamline existing procedures for abortions in cases of rape, and gives instruction on the use of contraceptives.
Ana Luisa Barajas Perez, General Coordinator of EMAS, confirmed to LifeSiteNews in a telephone interview today that in the struggle to legalize abortion in Mexico City “we have supported our counterparts in the Federal District in everything regarding the law, promoting here all of the actions that they were undertaking and why it was important.”
“So in the Federal District EMAS has helped with the legalization of abortion?” asked LifeSiteNews. “Uh huh,” responded Barajas. “Not only EMAS but all of the women’s organizations denominated as feminist in the state [of Michoacan], there are eight of us.”
Barajas explained that EMAS campaigned through “the media, press conferences, explaining to various news agencies, what the implication of the law is in the Federal District and why it is a success for women in the state.”
In the state of Michoacan, EMAS has “supported a proposal for a manual of mechanisms so that women who are raped may truly have access to legal interruption [of pregnancy],” said Barajas.
Moreover, Barajas also stated EMAS gives instruction on the use of contraceptives, and that “we have a relationship…with the Secretary of Health…so that women really have access to this type of service as a matter of public policy” and added that “many women don’t even know that they have a right to this, no? To request this type of service.”
Asked if the “service” included “emergency contraception,” which causes abortions, Barajas responded “Yes, including emergency contraception.”
In an article dated April 8, 2007, the newspaper La Jornada de Michoacan confirms that EMAS supports legislation to clarify and streamline procedures for obtaining legal abortions in the state, in cases of rape and fetal deformity.
“The fact that a legal initiative to create norms for abortions in specific cases is being presented represents a great advance,” Barajas told La Jornada. “We only hope that they follow through and don’t shelve it as they have other times” (see article in Spanish at http://www.lajornadamichoacan.com.mx/2007/04/08/index.php?se…).
On its blog (http://equpomujeresenaccionsolidaria.blogspot.com/), EMAS describes itself as a “civil organization founded in 1985 in Mexico City by a group of women committed to the struggle for gender equality, inspired by the utopia of a world without discrimination, truly just, inclusive, and democratic. Since 1987 we have worked in Michoacan, contributing through educational work in rural communities to promote public policies that help to improve the living conditions of women and their social position.”
EMAS received $31,000 Canadian dollars during CCODP’s 2007-2008 budget year. If projected over the entire 2006-2011 program, EMAS will have received $155,000 CAD in total.
EMAS is the eighth group funded by CCODP identified by LifeSiteNews as pro-abortion, indicating that at least 73% of the eleven Mexican groups listed as CCODP grant recipients in its 2006-2011 program for Latin America are in favor of legalizing and/or making abortions that are currently not penalized more easily accessible to women in the country.
LSN has also reported that CCODP is funding numerous pro-abortion organizations in other Latin American countries as well as the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia (see http://www.lifesitenews.com/features/DevelopmentPeace/ for a full list of articles to date).
CCODP receives a large portion of its funds from a fundraising drive held in Canadian parishes during Lent.