By John-Henry Westen
MANAGUA, February 14, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Marc Litvine, a European Union liason with Nicaragua, has been confronted by pro-life members of the European Parliament about pressuring Nicaragua in the name of the EU to reverse its newly instituted law granting full legal protection for the right to life of unborn children.
A story by the Catholic News Agency quoted from an interview Litvine gave to the Nicaraguan newspaper El Nuevo Diario, which was published on February 5. (The original Spanish article can be accessed here: https://www.elnuevodiario.com.ni/2007/02/05/nacionales/40569 )
Despite the fact that the pro-life law was signed by the president after passing the National Assembly on October 26 by a vote of 52 in favor, 0 against, with 9 abstentions, Litvine said the EU is hoping for a “real debate” in Nicaragua on the issue. He said the EU was “worried” about the criminalization of abortion, and that the EU saw the move as “a step backwards”.
Litvine said that the EU’s concerns over the matter were closely tied with its programs to fight poverty. That reference left Nicaraguans concerned as the country is still in need of foreign monetary aid.
It is not the first time officials from international institutions have threatened Nicaragua. In 2000, Thomas Jimenez, UN Population Fund (UNFPA) representative to Nicaragua announced that aid to the country would be halted since the nation’s family planning programs contained “discrepancies.” UNFPA was enraged over the decision of then-Nicaraguan Minister for Families Max Padilla and Education Minister Fernando Robleto to reject the UN’s “reproductive health” programs. They did so because the UN’s programs advocated abortion.
When Litvine was confronted with the report of his comments by a EU colleague however, he denied the comments. “The information contained in the Catholic News Agency is not accurate,” said Litvine in an email to Irish MEP (Member of the European Parliament) Gabriel Mitchell obtained by LifeSiteNews.com. “I never said what is written in the press realease (sic) and there is no common EU position on abortion.”
The last assertion about no common EU position on abortion, is true, but using it as a defence to pretend not to have lobbied for abortion in a pro-life country using EU credentials is laughable. While there is no official EU position on abortion, there has been an overt effort on the part of the EU hierarchy to pressure countries into legalizing abortion.
In fact, just prior to the vote by the Nicaraguan Assembly, the EU joined in an effort to scuttle the Nicaraguan vote on the pro-life law. A threatening letter was sent to National Assembly President, Eduardo Gomez by a group of ambassadors of “donor countries”, including the EU, hinting that aid money would be withheld if abortion restrictions were not loosened.
The letter’s signatories included the representatives from UNICEF, UNFPA, Sweden, Finland, Canada, the United Nations Development Program, and Francesca Mosca, a representative of the European Commission, the executive body of the European Union.
While it was controversial enough that the EU had attempted to intervene in Nicaragua’s determination of its pro-life legislation prior to its passage, it is a violation of EU protocol for it to interfere in the pro-life laws of a country once those laws are established.
See a scanned copy of the original letter with signatures (in Spanish):
UN/EU/Canada letter to Nicaragua urging reversal of pro-life law
To express concerns:
External Relations Dept. of the European Commission
European Union Presidnecy