By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman and Thaddeus M. Baklinski

SANTO DOMINGO, April 17, 2009 ( – The Cardinal Archbishop of Santo Domingo condemned pro-abortion legislators and doctors for being “butchers and merchants of life” in his Easter homily last Sunday as a battle heats up over a new constitutional provision to protect the right to life from fertilization.

“We know that there are butcher doctors, there are legislators who like to trade in life, there are people who have authority who make a living from that,” said Cardinal Nicolas de Jesus Lopez, adding that “we will be upfront, always upfront, clashing.”

“We are here to tell you, ‘yes to life, no to death,’ definitely,” he said, and added that abortion is a “crime,” that it “exploits women” and that it is “terrorism.”

The Cardinal’s statements were made as a political battle over the Dominican Republic’s constitutional reform intensifies (see LifeSiteNews coverage at The Caribbean nation is debating the approval of a new constitution that includes an explicit protection of the right to life.

Although the majority party has aligned itself in favor of the measure, some pro-abortion legislators and doctors are protesting it and seeking to modify the language to permit abortion.

Cardinal Lopez has given numerous speeches and led protests against attempts to legalize abortion in the Dominican Republic over the last two years. All abortions are illegal in the Caribbean nation, and all are criminally punishable except those performed to save a woman’s life.

According to the English language source Dominican Today, Lopez said the Church will work to prevent the approval of abortion in part because “it’s a way to look to open a gap to later impose all others (capital punishment), that’s what’s happening throughout the world and it’s a pity, because nothing can justify the killing of a creature.”

“Never, I’ll never yield an inch on that point, because for me it’s a perversion, an iniquity, it’s absolutely an unjustifiable crime,” the Cardinal said.

Previous LifeSiteNews coverage:

Interview: Cardinal Nicolas Lopez Gives Prescription for Defeating International Abortion Lobby

Catholics in Dominican Republic Plan Offensive Against Abortion

Dominicans Stage Massive Pro-Life Demonstration at National Congress

Dominican Republic Protest Against Attempt to Legalize Abortion