NewsTue Jun 17, 2008 - 12:15 pm EST
Ecuadorian Obstetricians and Gynecologists Issue Thundering Manifesto Against Abortion
By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman
GUAYAQUIL, Ecuador, June 17, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - At a recent meeting held to discuss abortion, Ecuadorian obstetricians and gynecologists issued a declaration denouncing abortion as "not only an illegal act, but a criminal one" and stating that "under no circumstances should abortion be decriminalized" (see full English translation at http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/jun/08061714.html).
The Ecuadorian Federation of Societies of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FESGO), made the statement at a "workshop" on the subject of abortion held in Guayaquil, Ecuador. The document begins by stating that "we are not in agreement with any form of induced abortion; life is inviolable from the moment of conception. The elimination of an innocent human being is always unacceptable, ethically and medically speaking."
"We are against induced abortion because it is not only an illegal act, but a criminal one…Under no circumstances should abortion be decriminalized in Ecuador," the document continues. "To the contrary, policies and strategies must be established to strengthen moral values and defend the basic principles of universal bioethics."
The members of the Federation note that the humanity of the embryo is not a matter of religion, but of medical science.
"Science teaches that human life begins at conception," the declaration states. "If it is also true that it is affirmed by religion, it does not for that reason cease to be a strictly scientific truth, to be transformed into a religious opinion. He who denies that human life begins with conception does not need to contend with religion, but science. To deny this certainty of biology is not to express a lack of faith, but a lack of basic knowledge of human genetics, something that is even known by the general public."
The declaration also corrects a common misconception about the fetus: that it is a "part" of the mother, rather than a distinct human life. "To affirm that the woman can do with her body whatever she wishes, besides being a conceited claim, has absolutely no basis in science: the embryo is not part of the body of the mother, nor is the fetus an internal organ of her body: the DNA of the embryo is distinct from that of its parents," the doctors write.
The physicians of the Federation are making their stand during a contentious debate over Ecuador’s new constitution, which is currently being rewritten by a special Constituent Assembly. According to Human Life International (HLI), language that could open the door to the decriminalization or legalization of abortion in Ecuador has been inserted into the current draft.
Magaly Llaguno, director of Human Life International’s Hispanic Division, Vida Humana Internacional, told LifeSiteNews that FESGO’s stand showed "courage" in defying the international medical establishment, which tends to ally itself with powerful and well-funded pro-abortion organizations.
"The International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) declared in its ‘Ethical Guidelines regarding abortion for non-medical reasons’: ‘A woman [has]the right to have access to medical or surgical induced abortion and that the health care services [have]an obligation to provide such services as safely as possible,’" noted Llaguno . "Yet the OB GYNs of Ecuador had the courage to oppose FIGO’s anti-life stand, by publicly expressing their opposition to the killing of the unborn."
"Praise God for courageous doctors who don’t follow deadly mandates from international counterparts," she added.
The 15 Conclusions of the Workshop on the Prevention of Abortion
Ecuadorian Federation of the Societies of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FESGO)
April 17, 2008, Guyaquil, Ecudor (English Translation and Spanish Original)
FIGO Ethical Guidelines Regarding Induced Abortion for Non-Medical Reasons
Adopted by the FIGO General Assembly as part of the pre-Congress Workshop Report at the XVI FIGO World Congress, Washington DC, September 2000
(From the International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics, 64 (1999) 317-322.)
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