Friday, June 29, 2007

European Union Threatens to Cut Nicaragua Funding Over Abortion Law

The European Union is threatening to cut funding for the nation of Nicaragua because it recently approved a law banning all abortions.

The EU and the nation of the Netherlands are saying they may revoke any public funding for the Latin American nation unless it changes the law.

Bert Koenders, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation for the Netherlands, announced the threat. He pledged to continue funding if Nicaragua reversed the new law.

Koenders wants the United Nations and the EU to both crack down on pro-life countries and “put women's rights higher on the agenda."

"Even if an abortion is medically necessary, it still remains illegal in Nicaragua, which results in the death of women," he claimed, according to a CNA report. "We should emphasize that this is completely unacceptable."

Responding to the threats, Raimundo Rojas, the Hispanic outreach director for National Right to Life, told LifeNews.com that he has repeatedly told Latin American countries to be on the alert for these kinds of threats.

"Still trying for world-wide relevance, the EU is bullying lesser developed nations into accepting their failed polices on abortion," he said. "Europe is dying, many European nations are at a negative birth rate -- they have in fact aborted themselves into this position."

"Now they want the nations of Latin America to follow suit," Rojas added.

"This is a clear example of how little regard the EU and the UN, have for the sovereignty of other nations. We pray for the people of Nicaragua, and all other countries in that region who have laws that protect the unborn," he told LifeNews.com.

Last November, President Enrique Bola?os signed a new abortion ban into law that prohibits all abortions, including those for rape and incest or to save the life of the mother.

Abortion advocates, led by the New York-based Americas for Human Rights Watch, have taken the law to court. The nation's high court is expected to deliver a decision in the case soon and it could result in the undermining of other pro-life laws in the region.

Should they lose in the Nicaragua court, abortion advocates will head to the United Nations Human Rights Commission in New York or the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. The latter, an autonomous organ of the Organization of American States, says the new law is contrary to international documents.

Both agencies have issued previous rulings against Mexico and Peru in abortion cases.

Abortion advocates say the pro-life laws are resulting in the maternal deaths of women who have illegal abortions and Ipas estimates 30,000 Nicaraguan women have illegal abortions annually.

However, legalizing abortion in industrialized nations hasn't made it any safer and Susan Yoshihara of Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute says she doubts the figures are accurate. She also said that most any doctor is willing to treat women following complications from an abortion.

The abortion ban put Nicaragua in league with thirty-four nations across the globe that prohibit all abortions.

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