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 Edilson Rodrigues/Agência Senado

January 4, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) –Across Latin America, politicians and pro-life leaders are responding to last week’s legalization of abortion in Argentina. Abortion activists have been hoping that the narrow Senate vote will herald a new shift away from protections for pre-born children across the continent, but the reactions thus far indicate that the pro-life majority is holding strong in the face of the Argentine tragedy.

President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil condemned the vote in the strongest terms, releasing a statement on Twitter: “I deeply regret the lives of Argentine children, now subject to being cut from their mothers' wombs with the consent of the State. As far as it depends on me and my government, abortion will never be approved on our soil. We will always fight to protect the lives of the innocent!”

Brazil’s Foreign Affairs Minister Ernesto Araújo concurred, posting an article on the abortion vote and noting that his nation would remain “the vanguard of the right to life and in the defense of the defenseless…no matter how many countries legalize the barbarity of indiscriminate abortion disguised as ‘reproductive health’ or ‘social rights’.”

The Brazilian Minister for Women, Family and Human Rights Damares Alves stated that she “thanks God that our country is mostly pro-life” and that her government “works to protect the lives of our children even before they are born,” noting this is “the will of the people.” ​​​​​​

Journalists also pressed Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on whether Mexico should legalize abortion the day after the Argentine vote. Abortion is only legal in Mexico City and the state of Oaxaca, and abortion activists recently faced a massive setback when the Mexican Supreme Court ruled against decriminalizing abortion in a devastating 4-1 vote. Lopez Obrador sidestepped the issue by stating that it is “a decision for women” and that a referendum should determine whether abortion is legalized. 

But the Mexican president appears to have no plans to introduce abortion legislation in the near future, especially as a nationwide poll of 15,000 adults published in September 2019 in the newspaper El Financiero indicated that a mere 32% of Mexicans favor legalization.

Cristina Valverde, a 34-year-old mother and pro-life activist from Ecuador who wrote a book on the subject in 2015, told me that she and many other activists were “very sad for unborn children and very disappointed with the politicians.” 

Valverde was watching the result of the vote with “several pro-life groups from across Latin America,” and all are determined to ensure that the abortion activists will be stopped cold. The Constitution of Ecuador protects life from conception, so she suspects that abortion activists will attempt to legalize abortion through the courts—and that pro-lifers must focus on electing anti-abortion politicians dedicated to the protection of human life. 

“Latin America is very pro-life, but we haven’t elected politicians with strong pro-life beliefs and that must change,” she told me. 

“Latin America is a region that loves life and family, but also has other problems such as poverty, inequality, and poor healthcare systems, which must be solved without abortion. Abortion is not the solution. In Ecuador, we have the presidential and congressional elections this February, and we have launched an initiative called Family Vote where the politicians are asked to sign a document that commits them to defending life and family as well as to be honest and end corruption.” This, pro-lifers hope, will prevent politicians from turning on them once they attain higher office.

The pro-life victory in Argentina in 2018 galvanized a continent-wide movement to push back against abortion activists; it appears that the 2020 defeat may do the same. Argentina’s pro-life activists fight on, and across Latin America, their comrades in the Blue Wave movement are redoubling their efforts.

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Jonathon Van Maren is a public speaker, writer, and pro-life activist. His commentary has been translated into more than eight languages and published widely online as well as print newspapers such as the Jewish Independent, the National Post, the Hamilton Spectator and others. He has received an award for combating anti-Semitism in print from the Jewish organization B’nai Brith. His commentary has been featured on CTV Primetime, Global News, EWTN, and the CBC as well as dozens of radio stations and news outlets in Canada and the United States.

He speaks on a wide variety of cultural topics across North America at universities, high schools, churches, and other functions. Some of these topics include abortion, pornography, the Sexual Revolution, and euthanasia. Jonathon holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in history from Simon Fraser University, and is the communications director for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

Jonathon’s first book, The Culture War, was released in 2016.