By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman, Latin America Correspondent

QUERETARO, MEXICO, September 3, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Mexican state of Queretaro has passed a pro-life amendment to its constitution, protecting the right to life from the moment of conception until natural death.

The passage of the measure followed a letter writing campaign that brought over 58,000 notarized letters to the state's congress in support of the right to life.

The text of the amendment, which was approved by an absolute majority of 21-0, was quoted in the Mexican media several weeks ago as follows: "In the state of Queretaro the existence of life from the moment of conception is recognized, therefore, respect for it and for all human rights will be guaranteed, its defense will be promoted, and the conditions necessary for its exercise will be provided."

It also stated that, "the State has the obligation to respect life as a fundamental right and to not offend it, nor expose it to any danger, a protection that should be understood from the moment of conception until its natural end, because it is a primordial, universal, absolute, and inalienable right."

However, in cases of rape, the penal code continues to provide no penalty for abortion, according to the Mexican newspaper Mileneo, which also reported that women who go to hospitals after failed abortions would not be prosecuted.

Queretaro is the 15th Mexican state to pass a pro-life amendment in the past year.  The amendments have followed Mexico City's decision to legalize abortion in 2007, creating fear that the same could happen at the state level.

Parties from across the political spectrum voted for the measure, following the example of other states in which left-wing and right wing politicians have come together to support the value of human life. 

Previous LifeSiteNews coverage:

Mexican State of Yucatan Becomes 14th to Pass Pro-Life Constitutional Amendment

Thirteenth Mexican State Passes Pro-Life Constitutional Amendment with Overwhelming Majority

Mexican State of Guanajuato Passes Pro-Life Constitutional Amendment: 11th State to Do So

Two More Mexican States Pass Pro-Life Amendments by Overwhelming Majorities

Pro-Abortion Forces Sue to Overturn State Pro-Life Amendment in Mexican Supreme Court

Mexican State of Sonora Passes Pro-Life Constitutional Amendment