Mexican Pro-Life and Pro-Abortion Groups Duel in Interamerican Court of Human Rights

By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman, Latin America Correspondent

MEXICO CITY, August 26, 2009 ( - Pro-abortion and pro-life organizations in Mexico are appealing to the Interamerican Court of Human Rights to vindicate their legal positions in the struggle over the legalization of abortion in Mexico.

Pro-abortion forces say that they have filed an appeal with the Commission against the passage of a pro-life amendment in the state of Morelos in 2008, and a a pro-life lawyer's association has appealed the legalization of abortion in Mexico City

Patricia Bedolla Zamora, director of the "Academy of Human Rights of the State of Morelos" (ADHEM) announced on August 5th that their appeal against the Morelos amendment has been accepted.  The organization claims that the law violates various international treaties signed by Mexico, a claim hotly contested by pro-life groups, which point out that no treaty of which Mexico is a party mentions a "right" to an abortion.

The amendment protects the right to life from the moment of conception. Along with numerous similar amendments created by state governments in the past year, it was passed in response to the legalization of abortion in Mexico City in 2007, which has resulted in the deaths of over 25,000 unborn children at the hands of public medical personnel.

Following the announcement by ADHEM, the College of Catholic Lawyers of Mexico has announced its own appeal to the Commission against the passage of the Mexico City abortion law, which provides abortion on demand free of charge for any woman during the first trimester of pregnancy, according to the Catholic News Service (CNS).

The group is arguing that the law "violates the human rights of the unborn and disassociates from them the term death, which seems to erase their status as human beings and does not recognize that their lives are being ended," and in particular violates Article One of the American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man, CNS reports.

Article One of the Declaration states that "Every human being has the right to life, liberty and the security of his person."

The Interamerican Commission of Human Rights is an institution of the Organization of American States (OAS), created by governments of the western hemisphere in 1948 to establish "an order of peace and justice, to promote their solidarity, to strengthen their collaboration, and to defend their sovereignty, their territorial integrity, and their independence." Mexico, along with most nations of the hemisphere, is a member.

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