The Lancet Slams Honduras Abortion Ban as ‘Draconian’ Law

Women march in Tegucigalpa on January 25, 2021 to protest against Congress strengthening the constitutionally mandated ban on abortion and against murders due to male violence. (Photo by Orlando SIERRA / AFP) (Photo by ORLANDO SIERRA/AFP via Getty Images)
ORLANDO SIERRA/AFP via Getty

The pro-abortion UK Lancet medical journal has expressed outrage over constitutional reform in Honduras protecting the lives of unborn children.

On January 28, the Honduran National Congress ratified constitutional reforms that explicitly prohibit abortion for any reason, acknowledging that the unborn enjoy the same basic rights as those already born.

As amended, article 67 of the Constitution now establishes: “The unborn shall be considered as born for all rights accorded within the limits established by law. It is prohibited and illegal for the mother or a third party to practice any form of interruption of life on the unborn, whose life must be respected from conception.”

The Lancet condemned the amendment, citing a number of pro-abortion groups as well as a “gender and inclusion specialist.”

“Honduras has voted in favour of a constitutional reform designed to prevent the legalisation of abortion,” writes Amy Booth in a January 30 article in the Lancet. “The move doubles down on draconian reproductive rights laws in a country with some of the highest rates of teenage pregnancy and sexual violence in Latin America.”

The constitutional amendment, which was praised by pro-life groups around the world, was harshly criticized by feminist organizations, as well as by pro-abortion groups such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Oxfam.

The new legislation was also denounced by the United Nations as well as the European Parliament, both of which have adopted a progressively more radical pro-abortion position in recent years.

In a formal declaration, the European Parliament said that Honduras’ constitutional reform prohibiting abortion “is clearly against international norms of human rights.”

“It constitutes a regressive measure that is contrary to the State’s international obligations to avoid measures restricting or undermining progress towards the full realization of human rights,” the communiqué added.

The Lancet said that the measure had “sparked fears” among reproductive health experts that conservative governments in other countries in the region might try something similar following “Argentina’s landmark legalisation of elective abortion” in December, 2020.

Mario Pérez, the lawmaker who proposed the measure, told local media: “All human beings have a right to life from the moment of conception.”

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