By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

BRUSSELS, April 14, 2008 ( – The European Parliament held a public event, billed as a “debate”, last Wednesday that gave pro-abortion forces an opportunity to denounce Latin American countries for refusing to legalize the killing of unborn children.

The discussion, “The Rights of Women to Reproductive Health in Latin America,” was held in the parliament building on April 9th, and was organized by the “United European Left”. It was attended by representatives from the European parliament and various pro-abortion Non-Governmental Organizations.

“I urge everyone to encourage the governments of Latin America to resist the pressure of the Vatican and to act in the interest of their citizens, placing issues of health and human rights in first place,” said Elfriede Harth of “Catholics for Choice”, one of several pro-abortion groups claiming to be Catholic despite their repeated condemnation by Catholic Church authorities.

One Brazilian feminist, Telia Negrao of the Brazilian Feminist Network, spoke appreciatively of the actions of the socialist regime’s Health Minister, who is openly pro-abortion. However, she complained that “they don’t yet have a significant impact in the life of women, because the services are offered at the local level, where there is more resistance to recognizing them.”

The “resistance” referred to by Negrao was apparently reflected in the results of a recent poll conducted by a major Brazilian newspaper, Folho de Sao Paulo, which showed that pro-life sentiment has risen by 5% in the past year alone, and now includes more than two-thirds of the population.

Negrao’s complaint about hostility to abortion in Brazil was repeated by Elisabeth Salguero, a representative in the Bolivian group “Movement to Socialism”, who lamented the resistance in her country due to the “fundamentalism of the Catholic Church and the ultra-right.”

The pro-abortion meeting is one of many instances of European Union countries and affiliated groups promoting the legalization of abortion in Latin America, a region where their goals have been repeatedly frustrated due to a strong pro-life culture.

As recently reported, a number of European countries, including Switzerland, Sweden, and Finland, have publicly pressured Nicaragua in recent years to repeal its 2006 legislation prohibiting all abortions except for life-saving procedures.

Related coverage:

Government of Finland Pressures Nicaragua to Legalize Abortion

Nicaraguan President Denounces International Media for Campaign Against Country’s Anti-Abortion Laws

Sweden Cuts Aid to Countries that Oppose its Pro-Abortion Stance

EU Threatens to Withdraw Aid to Nicaragua if Pro-Life Law Remains