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Zero-Tolerance Policy

In South America it’s getting dangerous to be publicly prolife these days. Abortion advocates are becoming increasingly vociferous and violent in their insistence that no one has a right to disagree with them. In Brazil and Argentina, where the majority of citizens are at least nominally Catholic, those pushing for the legalization of abortion have turned to intimidation tactics.

In Brazil, three Catholic bishops — Luiz Gonzaga Bergonzini of Guarulhos, Benedito Beni Dos Santos of Lorena, and Nelson Westrupp of Santo André — received anonymous death threats for defending the right to life and for denouncing the pro-abortion position of former Marxist rebel Dilma Rousseff and the Workers Party during the 2010 presidential campaign. (Rousseff won the election, becoming the first woman to be elected president of Brazil.) In 2007 Rousseff called for the legalization of abortion, and her liberal, anti-Catholic views are well documented.

Down in Argentina, where feminist Cristina Fer­nández de Kirchner is the nation’s second female president, violent attacks by pro-abortion feminists at the National Women’s Conference (NWC) in October left fifty women injured and one hospitalized. Argentina’s NWC is an annual meeting of women who support abortion-on-demand, same-sex marriage, and free access to birth control, including abortifacients. Dr. Roberto Cas­tellano, president of Pro-Life, a nongovernmental organization, told Catholic News Agency (CNA; Oct. 27) that during the conference the feminists engaged in threats and the destruction of business and public property. Prolife women who attended the event were physically attacked and forced to leave. He also pointed out that their actions were ignored by the vast majority of local and national news media.

The November edition of the Argentinean Catholic magazine Familia y Vida (Family & Life) was the only media outlet to provide any substantial coverage of the affair. According to a translation by CNA (Oct. 29), the Spanish-language magazine detailed “how pro-abortion groups sought to expel women who were identified as Catholics from a workshop in which the issue of abortion was debated, to keep them from voicing their opinions.”

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