Bishops and Feminists Unite Against Bolivian Abortion Bill
A bill in Bolivia that would allow abortions only for certain groups of women is uniting unlikely groups in opposition to the policy - namely, Bolivian bishops and pro-choice feminists.
Abortion is currently illegal in Bolivia except in certain rare cases, such as rape, incest or when the life of the mother is at risk.
The new legislation, proposed by President Evo Morales' Movement for Socialism (MAS) party, would decriminalise abortion during the first eight weeks of pregnancy in situations of extreme poverty, where the mother is a student, or where the mother already has three or more children.
The Catholic Bishops of Bolivia have said that the new proposal “seriously threatened” the right to life found in the Bolivian constitution.
“Life is a gift from God and no one can dispose of it under any circumstances,” said Bishop Aurelio Pesoa Ribera, the Secretary General of the Bishop’s Conference.
He also decried the new policy as targeting children born into poor circumstances, and said that it does not address the issues that lead to poverty.
“The proposal introduces a foreign ideological colonization that discards boys and girls born in fragile situations and accepts the sad violence of abortion as a way of providing solutions to social and economic problems.”
On the opposite end of the spectrum, pro-choice feminists also voiced opposition to the bill, in part because it targets poor women.
“They should then promote vasectomies for poor and irresponsible men,” the feminist group Mujeres Creando told The World Weekly. However, they believe that the government should allow access to abortion for all women up to eight weeks of pregnancy.
CNA. March 27.