Funding Pro-Abortion Extremists in Latin America
By Magaly Llaguno,
Executive Director, Vida Humana Internacional, HLI's Hispanic division
No Hispanic country in the Western Hemisphere has legalized abortion on demand, except Cuba and Puerto Rico—and neither really had a choice in the matter. Under the communist tyranny of Fidel Castro, the Cuban people were forced to decriminalize abortion. Under the tyranny of the U.S. Supreme Court, Puerto Rico was made to do the same on January 22, 1973. Abortion is illegal in nearly all Hispanic countries because we, as a people, prize life, faith and family above all other things. The fight against abortion in Latin America is thus not only a fight for life, but a fight to preserve our culture against those who hate life, faith, family and freedom.
Over the past several years, U.S. pro-abortion
extremists have been working zealously to deceive and force Hispanics to
legalize abortion. If one country falls to the culture of death, they hope
that, like a row of dominos, the entire hemisphere will fall with it.
Supported by funding from several U.S. foundations, pro-abortion groups
like the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), the
International Women's Health Coalition, the Population Council,
International Projects Assistance Services (Ipas), the Center for
Reproductive Rights, and Family Care International have been waging a
steady war on Latin American families and babies. Among these, IPPF is the
most powerful and has worked in Latin America the longest.
International Planned Parenthood operates under several
names within Latin America. Founded in 1954, the Western Hemisphere Region
(WHR) branch of IPPF has been working for years to acclimate Hispanics to
the culture of death by promoting legalized contraception, sex education
and, more recently, "emergency contraception." IPPF/WHR maintains at least
45 front groups or "member associations" throughout Latin America and the
Caribbean.1 Because its activities are funded, in part, by U.S.
taxpayers, IPPF/WHR shies away from openly defying the Mexico City Policy
by directly promoting abortion. They leave this task to their Family
Planning International Assistance (FPIA) arm as well their local
affiliates. Worse still, their affiliates often masquerade under
euphemistic titles, such as Pro-Familia (Pro-Family)-an anything but
"pro-family" organization in Colombia. Margaret Sanger Center
International (MSCI), which is really Planned Parenthood of New York City,
also funnels money to pro-abortion extremists in Latin America. Both of
these organizations-FPIA and MSCI-are supported by U.S. foundations. The
William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, for example, gave FPIA $2 million
between 1999 and 2000 and MSCI $650,000 during the same period to
implement "international family planning
As one of the largest and most populated countries in
Latin America, Mexico has long been a target of U.S. population
controllers. Until the Robles Reform was approved, abortion was illegal in
every Mexican state. All that changed, however, in January 2002—thanks, in
large part, to funding provided by U.S. pro-abortion
This most recent assault on human rights in Mexico
began, as usual, under the guise of a reform-namely, what came to be known
as the "Robles Reform." The author of this revolution was Rosario Robles,
the mayor of Mexico City from 1999 to 2000. (Robles was also the
Democratic Revolutionary Party's presidential candidate in 2002.) In
brief, the Robles law decriminalized abortion in the Federal District of
Mexico (Mexico City) if the pregnancy places the mother's health at risk
or in cases of rape and birth defects. The measure was proposed by Robles
in response to genuine reforms in the state of Guanajuato that sought to
criminalize abortion in cases of rape.
One month after its passage in August 2000, the popular
National Action Party challenged the Robles law. Specifically, the
attorney general's office petitioned the Corte Suprema de
Justicia (Supreme Court of Justice) to declare the Robles law
unconstitutional. The attorney general also asked the Congreso de la
Unión (National Congress) to schedule more "complete discussions" on
In January 2002, the Mexican Supreme Court, by an 11 to
7 vote, upheld the Robles law, preparing the way for other Mexican states
to further decriminalize abortion. According to legislator Miguel Angel
Torrijos, the Supreme Court's ruling "practically legalized abortion" in
Mexico.4 Proponents of the law agreed. Bragged Robles: "We
advanced in Mexico City and made it possible for abortion to be considered
legal. . . . In fact, we launched a debate against the Catholic clerical
hierarchy where we cleared a basic aspect-the civil character of the
Mexican state, and the separation of the state and the church which is
something still fundamental for the right wing of this country. . . . It
was debated at the Supreme Court this year and we were able to celebrate
and consider them to be constitutional reforms."5
In many ways, the Court's decision came as a shock. For
one, the Court legalized abortion while somehow continuing to acknowledge
that the Mexican constitution actually does protect the life of all
persons from conception. Others were surprised that nominally Catholic
justices voted to uphold the law. Justice Mariano Azuela, for example, is
widely known as "a friend of the Jesuit Universidad Iberoamericana."
6 Yet, the Iberoamerican University has been collaborating
with pro-abortionists since at least 1997. In November of that year,
Reverend Enrique González Torres S.J., the rector of the university,
organized an "Encuentro" (Encounter) that promoted abortion and
contraception. Sister Leonor Aida Concha, a "Catholics" for a Free Choice
activist, collaborated with Rev. Torres on this event.7
"Catholics" for a Free Choice (CFFC) is an American organization that
claims to be Catholic, but promotes legalized abortion. It has branches in
many Latin American countries.
While abortion is still technically illegal in every
Mexican state, a handful of states have begun to permit abortion in cases
in which a mother's health, and not just her life, is at risk. Unlike in
the United States, however, these protections are taken seriously. For
example, in some states, two physicians must be consulted before a
determination can be made that a woman's health is actually in danger.
Thus far, only one state—Yucatan—permits abortion "for economic
The virtual legalization of abortion in Mexico was not
accomplished overnight. In fact, the ground was well prepared by several
U.S. foundations. The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, for example, is
a major benefactor of "organizations working to advance the rights of
Mexican women and youth to make informed decisions about reproductive
health . . . with special attention given to reaching youth between the
ages of 10 and 14." The foundation's pro-abortion views are quite clear.
"Every woman and her partner," states their website, "should have access
to accurate information about a broad range of reproductive options,
Over the past several years, the Packard Foundation has
contributed millions to the pro-abortion movement in Mexico. The
foundation has even gone so far as to support efforts by Ipas to train
abortionists and distribute abortion equipment. In the year 2000 alone,
the Packard Foundation gave Ipas over $1 million to wage war against
Mexican families and babies.
Below is a list of some of the additional grants made by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation to pro-abortion extremists operating in Mexico:
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation is not alone in its extreme desire to see abortion legalized in Latin America. The MacArthur Foundation has also funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to Mexican anti-lifers:
The MacArthur Foundation likewise gave hundreds of
thousands of dollars in 2001 to organizations that work with youth for the
promotion of "reproductive and sexual rights."11 In addition to
its work in Mexico, the foundation is a staunch supporter of legalized
abortion in other Hispanic countries.
In Brazil, for example, the MacArthur Foundation contributed:
In Chile, the foundation donated $300,000 in 2001 to The
Latin American and Caribbean Women's Health Network, a leading feminist
pro-abortion organization, "for training and advocacy programs." The story
is much the same in many other Latin American
The Ford Foundation is another key supporter of
anti-life extremism in Latin America.
To Mexico, the foundation sent:
In addition, the Ford Foundation channeled $772,000 from
1999 to 2001 to the Latin American and Caribbean Committee for the Defense
of Women's Rights (CLADEM), a feminist pro-abortion organization with
branches in every Latin American country.13
To enable someone to have an abortion is a serious
enough crime. But to use force and fraud to compel an entire hemisphere to
kill its unborn children is nothing short of genocide. When such money
could be used to do good for so many people, it is simply a tragedy that
American foundations are bent on using our country's great wealth to
subsidize the slaughter of Latin America's youth.
Thanks to your generosity—and God's mercy—committed pro-lifers across Latin America are doing amazing work. In spite of the millions being poured into the coffers of the pro-death movement, only Mexico has liberalized its abortion laws during the past 15 years. The good news is that several Hispanic countries have renewed their efforts to protect human life by instituting additional legal sanctions against abortion. In recent months, we have also defeated bills aimed at decriminalizing abortion in Bolivia and Uruguay. Vida Humana Internacional, HLI's Hispanic Division, provides educational assistance and materials, guidance, funding and moral support to the hundreds of pro-life volunteers working with our 19 affiliates throughout Latin America. Your continued prayers and support are vital to our mission of protecting the values of life, faith and family integral to Hispanic culture. To learn more about our work, visit our website at www.vidahumana.org/english/hispanics/hispanics-global.html or HLI's website at www.hli.org.
1 "About Us," IPPF/WHR, www.ippfwhr.org/about/index.html.
2 See my article "A Summary of IPPF and its Activities in Hispanic Countries," www.vidahumana.org/english/family/summary-ippf.html.
3 Jesus Aranda, "Solicita la PGR a la Corte declare inconstitucional la reforma Robles," La Jornada Virtual, Mexico, 6/7/01.
4 Aranda, "Aprueba la Corte la Ley Robles sobre el aborto," La Jornada Virtual, 1/30/02; "Diputados del PAN denuncian ante CIDH legalización parcial del aborto," La Prensa de Minnesota online, EFE news agency, 3/21/02.
5 Rosario Robles, "Re-Inventing Globalism (AWID International Forum 2002)," Guadalajara, Mexico, 10/4/02, www.awid.org/forum/plenaries/day2rosario.html.
6 Aranda, "Aprueba la Corte la Ley Robles sobre el aborto."
7 Maria Osiris Reyes, "Priests and Religious in an Unholy Alliance with CFFC," 7/6/99.
8 Laurence Pantin, "Mexico High Court Opens Door to Abortion Rights," Women's eNews, 2/7/02, www.womensenews.org/article.cfm/dyn/aid/808.
9 The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, http://www.packard.org/, 4/30/02.
10 The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, 4/11/02.
11 The MacArthur Foundation, http://www.hli.org/www.macfound.org, 4/11/02.
13 The Ford Foundation, http://www.fordfound.org/, 4/11/02..