Nicaraguan Bishops Speak Out as Abortion Debate Nears

MANAGUA, Nicaragua, JULY 12, 2004 ( With a national debate looming over abortion, Nicaragua’s bishops appealed to lawmakers to be consistent with the country’s Constitution and civil code, which protect human life.

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«We have heard with disconcert and distress the argument for the legalization of the evil crime called therapeutic abortion, under the guise of ‘therapeutic reasons,'» the Nicaraguan bishops’ conference said in a statement.

Such an argument creates «the confusion that there is no crime,» it said.

«We warn the lawmakers that this situation is even more grave because it tends to make the collective conscience lose the sense of ‘crime’ and assume, paradoxically, the ‘right,’ to the point of pretending, by this legislation, a real and proper legal recognition by the state,» the document stated.

But to «defend life is a question of humanity, not specifically of a religion or determined group,» explained the note signed by Bishop Juan Abelardo Mata Guevara, president of the episcopal Department of Life and Family.

Because of this, in «this grave circumstance» Catholics «have the right and duty to intervene to remind the public of the most profound meaning of life and the responsibility that all have to it,» the note added.

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