By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, April 8. 2008 ( – The Catholic Church in the Dominican Republic has declared a “red alert” regarding the possibility that abortion could be legalized after the coming presidential elections, according to Father Luis Rosario, coordinator of the youth organization Pastoral Juvenil.

An attempt to legalize abortion last year failed after pro-lifers, led by Cardinal Archbishop Nicholas Jesus Rodriguez of Santo Domingo, led a massive nationwide protest that lasted an entire month, culminating in a huge march in the capital and a speech on national radio by the Cardinal.

However, members of the left-leaning Progressive Bloc parties that dominate the Dominican National Congress have made clear statements since the protests that they wish to revive the debate following the upcoming elections on May 16th.

The Dominican Republic is one of five Latin American countries in which all abortions, except indirect procedures to save a woman’s life, are penalized under the criminal code.  The others are Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, and Chile.

Rosario considers abortion to be “the greatest violence and abuse that can be committed against a human being,” reports the Dominican publication Hoy.  He announced the “red alert” in a press conference given at the beginning of Child Abuse Protection Month in the Dominican Republic.

Previous coverage:

“March for Life” through Capital of Dominican Republic Caps Off Month-Long Campaign

Dominicans Stage Massive Pro-Life Demonstration at National Congress

Cardinal Denounces Proposal to Legalize Abortion in the Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic Protest Against Attempt to Legalize Abortion

Dominican Republic Refuses to Legalize Abortion for Rape Victims