President of Costa Rica signs abortion statute after tens of thousands march through capital in defence of life

Costa Rica’s president has signed a statute that could increase the number of abortions in the Central American nation.

While it does not expand or change any laws, the legal statute signed by President Carlos Alvarado Quesasda clarifies the conditions under which doctors can perform an abortion procedure in the country. It could, therefore, give doctors the ‘confidence’ to perform abortions without legal repercussions.  

Pro-life campaigners in the country are dismayed at President Alvarado, saying the move could open the door to abortion on demand.

Since 1971, Costa Rica’s Criminal Code has allowed abortions to take place with the consent of an expectant mother “when done in order to avoid a threat to the mother’s life or health” and when no other alternatives are available. 

However, The Tico Times claims that, despite what the law stipulates, many doctors fear performing an abortion because of the lack of a protocol that establishes the procedures to follow and the precise conditions in which the law is applied.   

The Health Ministry and Casa Presidencial has now stated that these are the rules surrounding the legislation:

  • A group of three medical professionals must assess (within three days of a request for an abortion) if a termination is legally permissible for the woman seeking one
  • There must be no other option to secure the woman’s emotional or physical health.
  • Once they decide, the woman can either accept that decision or appeal. In addition, the woman must have given consent to the abortion and must have access to understandable, timely and scientific-based evidence upon which to base her decision, as well as comprehensive care.
  • Health professionals have the ability to cite conscientious objection to the procedure while ensuring it does not affect the medical attention available to the woman.

The President’s actions come just two weeks after tens of thousands of people have marched through the streets of San José, the capital of Costa Rica, in defence of life.

Fabricio Alvarado Muñoz, leader of the Costa Rican opposition party, said at the march: “the groups that have promoted this statute are the same ones that ask for abortion without any reason. This shows us that what this statute really proposes is unlimited abortion in Costa Rica”

Pro-life advocates have been showing support for the unborn in rallies around the world.

This month, thousands of people from all over New Zealand marched in the country’s capital calling on their political leaders to defend human life from conception, ahead of next year’s vote on an extreme abortion bill. Over 50,000 people gathered in the streets of Slovakia’s capital city, Bratislava, for The National March for Life as the country debates allowing abortions after 12 weeks gestation.

(Image credit: Evangelico Digital)

Thousands march for life in New Zealand, ahead of extreme abortion bill vote

Thousands of people from all over New Zealand marched in the country’s capital on Saturday calling on their political leaders to defend human life from conception, ahead of next year’s vote on an extreme abortion bill.

Over 2,000 people gathered in the streets of Wellington for the third National March for Life carrying signs saying “Both Lives Matter” and “Love them Both”.

It comes as steps are being taken by new Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to permit abortion up to birth for babies with disabilities such as Down’s syndrome or cleft lip and palate.

Currently, there is a 20-week time limit for disability-selective abortions in New Zealand law.

The proposed legislation will see this time limit removed and abortion for babies prenatally diagnosed with Down’s syndrome and other disabilities will be available up until birth, with the approval of a single health practitioner.

Before 20 weeks, expectant women would be able to refer themselves for an on-demand abortion.

A large number of parents have publicly voiced their concerns about the harmful impact this Bill will have on people with Down’s syndrome.

These concerns were echoed to thousands of pro-life campaigners on Saturday as Aggie Brown took to the stage with her husband Derek and their adopted nine-year-old son Reuben.

Addressing the crowds, Aggie explained how she and her husband’s life had changed for the better in having Reuben as part of the family, saying:   

“He may have Down’s but he undeniably shows us and others so much love, joy and happiness. He has taught us tolerance, empathy and kindness. There’s no such thing as a perfect human being and it saddens me to hear that Down’s syndrome is seen in a negative light.”

Aggie had been dismayed to learn in the lead up to Reuben’s birth his mother was strongly advised to consider having an abortion, by her GP, who gave her “the worst possible scenario if she chose to keep her Down’s baby”.

She added: “Much work is needed to illuminate the vast majority of genocide, discrimination and mistreatment that people with Down syndrome face.

“We would not be standing here today with our awesome nine-year-old son Reuben had his birth mother decided to have a termination. And for that, we highly commend her in making a courageous selfless decision in choosing adoption as a living option.”

Since 1974, when the first abortion facility opened in Auckland, New Zealand has seen more than 500,000 abortions take place.

In 2018 the total number of abortions was 13,282, the equivalent of 36 abortions per day.