Bishops Await Fox´s Move Against Birth Control Policies

They Hope for Change With New Mexican President

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MEXICO CITY, MAR. 5, 2001 ( The Catholic Church is «turning a new leaf» with the government of President Vicente Fox, in regard to the defense of human life, the institution of the family, and public policies on population and birth control.

So says the head of the Commission for Family Pastoral Care of the Mexican bishops´ conference in an article published in the newspaper La Jornada.

Bishop Rodrigo Aguilar Martínez stated, however, that Fox, the first Mexican president in more than 70 years who does not come from the Institutional Revolutionary Party, is yet to respond to the expectations raised by his electoral victory.

Bishop Aguilar said that public health institutions continue to exercise «enormous pressure» on women, especially in rural areas, to accept birth-control practices, including by enticing them with «social assistance» and health care.

He lamented that these practices, which took place in public health institutions in the past, prevail in the present administration. Such practices, he said, threaten the liberty of couples to freely decide on the number of children they wish to have.

Bishop Aguilar of San Luis Potosí is in touch with many rural areas and said he has «firsthand knowledge of the problem.»

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