By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman
HERMOSILLO, Sonora, October 22, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Mexican state of Sonora has overwhelmingly passed a constitutional amendment that protects human life from the moment of fertilization until natural death.
The amendment, which was supported by a coalition of representatives in the state’s unicameral legislature, states that "the state of Sonora protects the right to life, affirming that from the moment of fertilization it comes under the protection of the law…until natural death." It passed in the legislature with a 27-3 vote.
The new constitutional text is a slap in the face to liberal legislators in the nation’s capital, who recently urged Mexico’s 31 state legislatures to follow the lead of Mexico City and legalize abortion on demand during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Although some representatives who voted for the new text said that it would not eliminate exceptions to the state’s penal code regarding abortion, they hoped it would make it difficult to pass a permissive abortion law modeled on that of Mexico City, which passed its legislation in 2007.
Abortions in most Mexican states are non-punishable (although not necessarily legal) in cases of rape, incest, and danger to the life of the mother.
However, if the text is interpreted according to the letter, it will prohibit all forms of abortion, including chemical abortions at the earliest stages of pregnancy.
Despite the significance of the event in the ongoing struggle over the right to life in Mexico, the nation’s major newspapers ignored the story. The national media in Mexico is dominated by social liberals who favor abortion, in contrast to the general population, which is strongly opposed to it.
The representatives who voted for the amendment represented a coalition of the traditionally pro-life National Action Party (PAN), which predominates in northern Mexican states and at the federal level, as well as the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which was formerly the nation’s ruling party, and which also has a pro-life tradition. They were joined by a representative from the socialistic Labor Party (PT).
"We brought this to the constitutional level because we can see that if we didn’t do it, it would be very easy with a simple majority vote for abortion to become a non-punishable situation, it wouldn’t merit any type of punishment," said Carlos Daniel Fernandez, Coordinator of the legislature’s PRI faction.
"We believe that obviously undesired pregnancies are an important problem that should be tended to with much responsibility, but we believe that the interruption of pregnancy is not the solution, it isn’t the best solution," he said.
"We believe that using law as an instrument of death is totally illogical and contravenes its function as a government institution, which since its origins has been evolving to increasingly broaden the protection for all human beings, without regard for their condition," said Susana Saldana, of the PAN.
The amendment was opposed by only three legislators, two of whom are from the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), which tends to favor abortion legalization, despite its own constituents stated rejection of the policy. The PRD dominates the government of pro-abortion Mexico City.
Related LifeSiteNews Coverage:
Legislators Seek Abortion-on-Demand for Every State in Mexico
Mexican State Legislators Seek to Define Personhood as Being from Conception
Mexico City Passes "Express Divorce" and "Gender Identity" Legislation
Protests and Official Mourning Declared following Mexican Pro-Abortion Ruling
Pro-Abortion Case Falls Apart Days Before Mexican Supreme Court Ruling