By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman, Latin America Correspondent
GUADALAJARA, July 6, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A Mexican group funded by the Canadian Catholic bishops’ international aid organization, the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (D&P), is continuing to add its name to campaigns calling for the depenalization of abortion in the state of Jalisco, and to denounce a recently passed pro-life amendment to the Jalisco constitution.
The group, known as the Support Center for the People’s Movement of the East (Centro de Apoyo para el Movimiento Popular de Occidente – CAMPO), joined with other groups in February to protest a proposed amendment to the constitution of Jalisco protecting the right to life “from the moment of conception.” Now it is protesting the implementation of the amendment, as well as attempts by state politicians to nullify regulations requiring abortion to be made available for rape victims.
Decrying Governor Emilio Gonzalez Marquez’ decision to challenge the federal government’s directive to require abortions in public hospitals, CAMPO has added its name to a declaration lamenting that the governor’s actions “confirm the true intentions of local authorities to transgress against the fundamental rights of women and impede them from having access to legal abortion for rape.”
The statement, which appeared on June 24th on the website “Sendero de Peje Jalisco” concludes with the following:
“The signatories demand a halt to the violations of human rights that endanger the life and health of thousands of Mexican women, and likewise:
“We disapprove of the acts carried out by the congress of Jalisco and the governor of the state.
“We request that the Jalisco Ombudsman request before our highest court that this constitutional reform be ruled unconstitutional.”
Exceptions for rape and other such “hard cases” have traditionally been used by abortion advocates as a strategy to open the door to eventual unlimited legal abortion. The term “rape” is often very liberally interpreted as the beginning part of this process.
A second statement signed by CAMPO and published just three days ago on July 3rd by a cosigning group, demanded that the state ombudsman be removed because he had failed to challenge the constitutionality of Jalisco’s new pro-life constitutional amendment.
“The Jalisco ombudsman, Filipe de Jesus Alvarez Cibrian, has refused to file a motion of unconstitutionality against the reform of article 4 of the Constitution of the State of Jalisco approved by the state congress,” the statement reads.
It goes on to say that the amendment “affects human rights, including, of course, the rights of women” and that “the signatories hold that the Ombudsman of Jalisco has transgressed against the juridical regulations applicable that he must comply with as defender and promoter of human rights, for not filing suit against the constitutionality of the above-mentioned reform.”
“For the above reasons the organization of civil society who have signed below demand that juridical action be taken against the state ombudsman,” the statement concludes.
CAMPO received $35,000 from D&P during the 2007-2008 budget year. In a February statement signed by the CAMPO, the withholding of abortion services was denounced as “torture” and “cruel and inhuman punishment.” A CAMPO representative has confirmed to LifeSiteNews in a telephone interview that the group supports the “right to decide” as a “human right.”
Despite continuing statements by D&P-funded groups advocating the depenalization and availability of abortion in Mexico and other countries, the leadership of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops adamantly denies that pro-abortion groups are receiving funds from Development and Peace.
What, I wonder, would it take for the bishops to concede the evidence? I think most of us are too afraid to answer that question.