But leader says country is ‘too close to America, too far from God’

Mexico’s most influential pro-life and pro-family organization is facing some serious challenges these days. Comite Pro-Vida Mexico is almost the only voice to counter the powerful culture-of-death mentality that is sweeping the nation.

All is not lost in Mexico; however all is not well, either. Police armed with machine guns patrol the streets of Mexico City in an effort to combat a violent-crime epidemic. Advertisements for Trojan condoms are prominent on billboards. Gay and heterosexual pornography is openly displayed downtown by vendors eager to cater to disordered appetites.

In an interview, Pro-Vida Mexico president Jorge Serrano Limon toldThe Interim of the seriousness of the abortion threat that is facing his predominantly Roman Catholic nation. Although it is unknown how many unborn children are killed in Mexico, Mr. Limon – speaking through interpreter and Pro-Vida Mexico vice-president Rocio Galvez de Lara – said abortionists operate more or less freely.

“No abortionist has been charged in recent memory,” he said. “We have reported abortionists to the authorities; however, no arrests are made. (The abortionists) give the authorities a bribe and they are left alone.”

Mr. Limon said three types of abortionists operate in Mexico. One is the “comadronas,” a woman with no medical experience, but who is knowledgeable about abortifacient herbs and home abortions. The second type are the “quacks,” whom Mr. Limon described as incompetent doctors or laymen who have received training to perform abortions.

The poor women of Mexico are looked after by these two types of abortionists. Rich women, Mr. Limon said, go to the third type – “very expensive” doctors who have the latest equipment to work with.

In spite of a highly unregulated market and disparities in medical practice, abortion-related deaths appear to be rare. However, according to government figures, there were still 95 abortion-related maternal deaths in Mexico in 1997.

Mr. Limon observed that Mexico’s ruling party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), is not interested in the abortion issue.

“They are only interested in making money, reducing Mexico’s population, and not offending the Americans,” he said, adding that the U.S. has “a lot to do” with abortion in Mexico.

Groups such as the International Planned Parenthood Federation have been spending money on the promotion of abortion and contraception in Mexico for years. However, pressure to legalize abortion intensified with the advent of the Clinton administration.

“Since Bill Clinton came to power, more money has been made available than ever before for feminists and population controllers,” lamented Mr. Limon.

The Mexican Mex Fim is one organization that has benefitted from the influx of American cash.

“They are a very evil organization,” said Mr. Limon. “They have been promoting the ‘morning-after pill’ and pornographic sex videos in our schools.” Although pessimistic of achieving a successful result, Pro-Vida Mexico launched a court action against Mex Fim in April of this year, in an effort aimed at halting the distribution of the morning-after pill.

When asked if Pro-Vida Mexico has had a direct role in saving unborn children from abortion, Miss de Lara proudly said that 20,000 of them have been saved in 10 years. She said the women they help tend to be single, poor and abandoned by their boyfriends.

Pro-Vida runs 24 crisis-pregnancy centres throughout Mexico, in addition to having 42 political and educational chapters. Roman Catholic clergy are available to provide spiritual guidance and counselling for those who wish it. It runs strictly through private donations, receiving no Church or government funds.

Pro-Vida’s successes have not been lost on pro-abortion and contraception-promoting groups in Mexico. On International Women’s Day in 1995, 40 feminists descended violently on Pro-Vida’s head office. After taunting Pro-Vida’s staff and throwing eggs, they became angry when staff and volunteers refused to retaliate. The demonstrators proceeded to smash windows and spraypaint slogans on Pro-Vida’s property.