Guatemala Takes a Stand that Others Should Follow
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus
Early last December, the Supreme Court of Guatemala, in a very important and welcome decision, dealt a deserved rebuke to domestic and worldwide pro-abortion forces and to the United Nations.
Having discovered that a pro-abortion manual was being circulated through the country, opponents of abortion went to court to have it banned. The small Central American nation’s laws bar abortion from the moment of conception. Its pro-life forces pointed to the manual’s promotion of abortion as a “right,” and its employment of such phrases as the “right to safe abortion” and “pregnancy termination” as clear evidence of what the manual countenanced.
In its ruling, the high court refused to be swayed by arguments based on the widespread and growing liberalization of abortion laws in other nations. Guatemala’s judges insisted that pointing to abortion being practiced elsewhere shouldn’t matter when “annihilating the life of the innocent” is the issue. Calling the pro-abortion attitude a “perversion,” the jurists suggested that real progress could be made by helping women in pregnancies, not assisting them to abort infants in the womb.
Attorney Astrid Rios of the Associacion la Familia Importa that instituted the challenge before the Court jubilantly stated that the ruling “surpassed all our expectations in defending the protection of life from conception.”
As reported by the American Center for Family and Human Rights, a leading pro-life group, the judges further contended that abortion “fundamentally transforms society, in the sense of making it progressively insensitive to human suffering and the piecemeal destruction of human life.” Also, they claimed that countenancing abortion “leads to the exclusion of those most needy of protection, such as the unborn, the sick, and the elderly.” The judges then pointed to “assisted suicide and euthanasia, even for children” as a logical next step in countries where abortion has been legalized.
In its decision, the Court pointed to Article 3 of Guatemala’s Constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations, and the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights that Guatemala has signed. The Inter-American Convention clearly supports protection of life from the moment of conception.
Unsurprisingly, what the Manual found unlawful by the Court was brought into existence with help from the United Nations Population Fund. Sandra Moran, a proud lesbian advocate of abortion and a member of the Guatemala congress, has instituted a challenge to the high court’s ruling. MTM Guatemala, a woman’s group favoring abortion that is a foe of the Court’s ruling receives financial assistance from the Open Society Foundation led by America-based George Soros and the pro-abortion giant Planned Parenthood. No surprises there!
The Court’s reliance on the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights for its decision likely occurred without realization that every right mentioned in the UN document can easily be cancelled via the provisions contained in its Article 29. This portion of the UN Declaration states: “In the exercise of rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law….” That means that the UN retains power to cancel any right, even those listed in its Declaration. According to the UN, rights are granted by law (see the Declaration’s Article 3). Further, the Declaration’s Article 8 tells us that God is not the granter of rights government is. A right granted by the UN or any law can easily be voided.
What the Guatemala court has done, however, is strike a blow for infants in the womb while exposing George Soros, his Open Society Foundation, and the United Nations as the enemies of innocent unborn infants. For that all pro-life partisans should be very grateful.
Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.