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‘Defending the Human Right to Life in Latin America’ at the World Congress of Families

Before an international audience, Americans United for Life recently premiered an international study modeled on Defending Life, AUL’s guidebook to pro-life legislation and policy. AUL Senior Counsel William Saunders and attorney Evangeline Jones presented “Defending the Human Right to Life in Latin America” at the World Congress of Families in Madrid, Spain.

The World Congress has been holding meetings throughout the world for several decades to create partnerships and share strategies to win victories for life in every country.  Since 2009, AUL has been a participating partner. During this year’s event, held May 25-27, AUL networked with more than 3100 delegates, from over 80 nations.

This new AUL publication, “Defending the Human Right to Life in Latin America,” which is being published in both Spanish and in English, is a ground-breaking study of pro-life laws in Latin America. Since Latin America has perhaps the most pro-life culture and laws in the world, anti-life forces work ceaselessly to undermine its pro-life commitment.

“If they succeed there, there is anti-life ripple effect around the globe,” said Saunders, well-known human rights advocate.  “The aim of Defending the Human Right to Life in Latin America is to show the extent of the commitment to life in Latin America and to suggest areas where the commitment could be strengthened.  Indeed the experience of several countries profiled (Honduras and Chile) shows that, contrary to the claims of anti-lifers, strengthening laws against abortion does not increase maternal mortality.”

During the World Congress, Saunders addressed the delegates, laying out the pressure on Latin American countries to conform to the “liberalized” laws of Europe and North America. For example, Sweden undertook efforts to cut aid to Nicarugua when that country did not change its pro-life laws. To apply additional pressure, some pro-abortion groups urge the false claim that abortion is an international right. A few years ago, the highest court in Columbia re-interpreted its own law, citing a U.N. committee’s mis-statement of international human rights. One of AUL’s goals in attending the important conference was to engage pro-life advocates in Europe to support the efforts of Latin American countries to protect life in their laws.

“Poorer countries are the subject of great pressure to accept abortion and abortion-related policies,” said Saunders. “But the new Defending the Human Right to Life in Latin America can equip them with the tools to continue their strong stands.” Another legal resource Saunders helped to develop, as a drafter and signatory, is the recently issued San Jose Articles, a document that provides expert testimony demonstrating there is international right to abortion.