PORT OF SPAIN, August 19, 2004 ( – In Trinidad and Tobago, pro-abortion advocates are stepping up their campaign to legalize abortion on demand. In this south Caribbean republic, doctors can legally abort in cases of threats to the life of the mother, and there are many illegal abortions committed by medical doctors and “backyard” abortionists. Politicians appear to be neutral on the topic of abortion, although members of the present government who favor abortion are not very outspoken.  The main group leading the campaign is Safe Parenthood: Improving Reproductive Equity (ASPIRE), whose official website states: “ASPIRE’s goal is to stimulate informed public dialogue aimed at making abortion legal and accessible for all women in Trinidad and Tobago. To this end, we must develop strategies for influencing the formulation of public health policy.” In its efforts to legalize abortion ASPIRE is supported by at least one national paper, the Trinidad Express, and has received large grants.  Pro-lifers of both the Catholic and Evangelical churches are responding positively to the new threat. A recent editorial in the archdiocesan paper of Port of Spain rues the fact that “we still lack in our Church a strong, consistent voice who can engage ASPIRE and others at every turn on the scientific, theological, sociological and cultural level”. The paper invites Catholics, especially lay people, to “offer to women considering abortion viable alternatives.”  To express concerns to the Trinidad Express, contact the editor at [email protected]. To contact the office of Trinidad and Tobago’s Prime Minister, Mr. Patrick Manning, go to   jmo