Lessons from Mexico


BY NICHOLAS NEAL

There have been some victories and losses this year in regard to personhood. The two major victories were in two states of Mexico, Baja California and San Luis Potosí in September, and the loss was in Mississippi during November.

The Mexican Supreme Court ruled that Baja California's personhood amendment was constitutional based on the federalist principles that abortion was under the legislative prerogative of the states within Mexico. [1] This is the exact opposite of what the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade, in which the federal court struck down state-level legal protection for the unborn. Days later, the Mexican state of San Luis Potosí passed its own personhood amendment stating: "The State of San Luis Potosí recognizes life as the foundation of all human rights, for which reason it respects and protects it from the moment of its beginning in conception. The death penalty is prohibited, and cannot be applied in any situation." [2]

This amendment is particularly encouraging from a CLE (consistent life ethic) standpoint. It means that this state government has recognized the link between these two acts of homicide and has prohibited both of them. American pro-lifers may want to take note of this.

Unfortunately such efforts were not successful in the United States. The personhood amendment in Mississippi failed to pass in November. This was primarily due to the controversy over whether or not it could be interpreted to ban certain types of birth control. The lesson to learn from this failure is that if there are rumors that a certain pro-life legislation will ban a type of non-violent birth control, we should amend the legislation to make it clear that it will not. This way the argument will be purely over abortion, unborn rights and fetal humanity. When the focus is on abortion in and of itself the pro-life arguments win, because ours is the only side that addresses the reality of what abortion is and who it kills.

Photo by Ed Uthman; some rights reserved.

REFERENCES

[1] Steven Ertelt, LifeNews.com, September 29, 2011.< http://www.lifenews.com/2011/09/29/mexico-upholds-pro-life-amendment-prohibiting-abortion/>

[2] Steven Ertelt, LifeNews.com, September 30, 2011.< http://www.lifenews.com/2011/09/30/mexico-supreme-court-upholds-second-state-abortion-ban-law/>

#volume1issue2 #capitalpunishment #abortion

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