By Jonathon Van Maren
On April 11, I noted that abortion activists in El Salvador were making a massive push to relax restrictions in that country, and that even the government’s health ministry had indicated support for changing the country’s strict pro-life laws. LifeSiteNews is now reporting that the abortion activists have failed:
A massive campaign by organizations of the United Nations, major international media, and various international organizations failed on Friday to legalize abortion in El Salvador. Pro-abortion groups are calling it a “terrible blow” to their cause. The campaign, which involved the New York Times, CNN, the BBC, the pro-abortion “human rights” organization Amnesty International, and the pro-abortion activist group Ipas, finally ended last week when abortion advocates failed even to secure a congressional debate over the proposed legislation, and the current legislative session was closed.
Amnesty International complained in a press release that the “legislators of El Salvador have their hands stained with blood after refusing even to discuss the proposal for the decriminalization of abortion . . . The wasted opportunity to put an end to this injustice is a terrible blow to the human rights in El Salvador.”
The El Salvadoran organization Young People for Life saw it very differently. “We’re celebrating that abortion was not legalized in the 2015-2018 legislature. During these three years the abortionists dedicated themselves to bombard us with media campaigns in favor of abortion. April was the last month they could achieve their objective.” Campaigners hoped to pass pro-abortion legislation before the end of the current legislative session, when an even stronger majority of conservative parties will take control of the national congress. Their hopes appear to have been dashed for at least the next three years.
This is an enormous relief to the pro-life movement in El Salvador, which will have time to regroup and prepare for the next assault—there is always another battle coming. The West is relentless in attempting to force its “values” on underdeveloped nations (as Nigerian pro-life activist Obianuju Ekeocha so eloquently detailed in my recent interview with her.) Interestingly, pro-lifers in El Salvador are also highlighting the fact that a campaign of lies and disinformation was utilized by Western media to tar their nation as cruel to women who had suffer from miscarriages:
What seems to have been a coordinated campaign to pressure El Salvador to permit the killing of the unborn began in late 2017, when the United Nations’ Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights began to complain about seventeen women in El Salvador who are currently imprisoned for “abortion.”
The same claim was repeatedly echoed in the Spanish-language editions of the New York Times, CNN, and the BBC, as well as by the pro-abortion “human rights” organizations Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. The United Nations and the media claimed that the women were in prison for having had spontaneous abortions or miscarriages. That claim was disputed by pro-life organizations, which pointed out that the women had been convicted of deliberately killing their children after birth.
Both the constitution of El Salvador and its civil legislation prohibits all abortions, and the law is defended strongly by the country’s principal medical association, the Medical College of Nicaragua, which includes 37 different medical organizations.
“No situation exists in current medical practice in which human life must be intentionally destroyed by means of an abortion for the purpose of saving the life of the mother,” the doctors declared in mid-April. “Never can a doctor kill by action or omission. This is applicable to also to induced abortion, which is a grave ethical and deontological violation,” the doctors stated. Biology indicates that the human person is “the subject of the absolute right to life from his conception.”
The Medical College also denounced the manipulation of cases of women imprisoned for “abortion.”
“Concepts and data are being manipulated, with the only purpose of confusing the population,” they declared. “For example: the case of the 17 [women imprisoned for “abortion”], none of which is a case involving abortion, as they have attempted to lead people to believe , or involving the imprisonment of women who had spontaneous miscarriages.”
The result has been an “international campaign of discredit against El Salvador with false information, to generate greater international pressure,” they added.
The media is almost entirely in the abortion camp—one New York Times journalist had to admit she didn’t know of anyone at her organization that was pro-life—and the deceit and misinformation that they push as a result is often fed to them directly by abortion activists. Pro-lifers are frequently tarred as violent or threatening, and when these stories are discovered to be false, corrections are minimal or absent entirely. These same campaigns of misinformation are currently unfolding in Ireland, where pro-life activists are fighting their seventh referendum on abortion.
Continue to pray for the international pro-life movement—and be encouraged by the fact that today, we have much to be thankful for. Babies in El Salvador are still safe in the womb.
For anyone interested, my books: The Culture War, Seeing is Believing: Why Our Culture Must Face the Victims of Abortion, and How To Discuss Assisted Suicide, are available for sale here.