By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

  MONTEVIDEO, October 16, 2007 ( – Protestors marched through the streets of Montevideo yesterday protesting a bill to legalize abortion in Uruguay, according to local media sources, which will be voted on today.

  The march, organized by the National Coordinating Roundtable for Life, included the archbishop of Montevideo, Nicolás Cotugno, who said “I would like to emphasize this fact: I am not here because I subscribe to a religious creed.  I am here because I am a man and as a man I feel the obligation to defend all human rights, and the first right is the right to be born, the right to life.”

  The bill, which will be voted on by the Uruguayan Senate today at 4 pm, would legalize abortions for almost any reason during the first three months of pregnancy, and would allow abortions in cases of fetal deformities after that period. 

  However, as marchers pointed out, the legislation also mandates “sexual education” programs for students down to the elementary school level, which would indoctrinate them with the notion that homosexual behavior and abortion are a “right”.

“We believe the authority of parents is seriously threatened in the first section of this bill, because the parents aren’t going to have any right, practically, not only to determine what is taught to their children, but also what is done with them, because we are talking about a right at any time of life to have pleasure in whatever way desired, which includes children,” said Nestor Martinez, spokesman for the Roundtable, who added that this aspect of the bill was still largely unknown to the public.

  The measure has also been denounced by the Montevideo archdiocese’s John Paul II Center for Bioethics, which noted that the legislation “would cost the lives of innocent Uruguayan children, and damage the well-being of the family and of all of Uruguayan society.”

  According to media reports today, the projected vote is now tied 15-15, a gain in favor of the pro-life position, but due to the volatile nature of the issue, the outcome is still uncertain.

  Contact Information:

  Embassy of Uruguay in the United States

  1913 I (Eye) Street, NW
  Washington, DC, 20006
  Phone: (202) 331-1313
  Fax: (202) 331-8142

  Embassy of Uruguay in Canada

  130 Albert St. Suite 1905
  Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  K1P 5G4
  Tels: (613) 234-2727, (613) 234-2937
  Fax: (613) 233-4670

  Embassy of Uruguay in other countries:

  Contact information for Uruguayan Senators (thanks to ACI Prensa):
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