Secret network of foreign NGOs performing illegal abortions in Bolivia, feminist researcher says
June 24, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A secret network of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), including foreign ones, are helping women to obtain abortions in Bolivia, according to Natalie Kimball, a doctoral candidate at the University of Pittsburgh.
The Spanish news service EFE is reporting that Kimball made the statements at a talk given at the offices of Bolivia’s vice president on June 20, a date confirmed by the Bolivian government’s own website.
Kimball was presenting the results of her doctoral dissertation “An Open Secret: The Hidden History of Unwanted Pregnancy & Abortion in Highland Bolivia, 1952-2010,” which she recently completed and defended at the university.
“We have been able to see the situation that there are NGOs, some from outside the country, that do illegal abortions” in Bolivia, Kimball reportedly told the audience of her talk, which was organized by the feminist Center for Information and Development of Women (Centro de Información y Desarrollo de la Mujer) or CIDEM.
Although Kimball is not reported as having named the NGOs involved, she stated that a “network” of such groups exist, which conspire with abortionist clinics to kill Bolivian unborn children.
“They are clinics that provide many health services, and among those services they also do illegal abortions because for these institutions the perspective is that they want to help women in every way necessary,” Kimball reportedly said, claiming that she had personally examined 3,000 medical records for her research.
The revelations come as no surprise to Fr. Shenan Boquet, president of Human Life International, which provides support and organization to the pro-life movement in Latin America, including Bolivia.
"We have known for some time that some NGOs not only promote abortion in nations where it is illegal, but some actually facilitate illegal abortions, so the revelation in Ms. Kimball's dissertation is not so much a surprise as it is a confirmation of what many have believed,” Boquet told LifeSiteNews.com. “It is time for the authorities to act and make sure that Bolivia's laws, along with its women and children, are defended."
"In the name of intellectual honesty, Ms. Kimball owes it to all of us to provide the names of the NGOs that she claims are breaking the law by performing illegal abortions," added Boquet. "With or without such a revelation, an official investigation of these claims is warranted, and offending organizations should be named, prosecuted, and kicked out of Bolivia and other Latin American nations where they are operating.”
During her talk, Kimball also repeated a common assertion of pro-abortion organizations, claiming that hundreds of abortions are carried out daily in Bolivia, and that three out of five Bolivian women have abortions during their lifetime. The claim contradicts a recent study of Bolivian women, who found that the vast majority oppose abortion in most circumstances.
The study, carried out by the Women’s Coordinator (Coordinadora de la Mujer), a private network of feminist groups, found that 79 percent reject the possibility of carrying out an abortion personally, and only two percent wished to allow abortion as a free decision of women.
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Even in cases of rape, only 29 percent believed that abortion should be permitted, as it currently is in Bolivia.
Bolivia’s people have repeatedly indicated their strong pro-life views through their elected representatives, who continue to oppose the legalization of the killing of the unborn.
The country currently exempts abortion from penalties only in cases of rape, incest, and danger to the life of the mother, and requires previous government permission if the exemption is to be applied. Such permission is rarely requested or granted in Latin American countries, due to overwhelming opposition on the part of the majority of Latinos.