Just a month after neighboring Argentina legalized abortion on demand, Honduras has drastically strengthened its constitutional ban on abortion under any circumstance.
The Central American nation made its four-decade-old ban virtually bulletproof in a vote on Thursday, according to the Financial Times.
The bill was formally proposed last week by Mario Pérez, a lawmaker with the ruling party of President Juan Orlando Hernandez, who called it a “constitutional lock” to prevent any future moderations of the nation’s abortion law.
Any future modification to the amendment will now require a three-quarters majority and any attempt to strike it down would need unanimous support from a constituent assembly.
“Every human being has the right to life from the moment of conception,” said Pérez, according to the BBC.
The legislation also banned same-sex marriage, a move found troubling by activists around the world.
“In other words, they’re trying to make these provisions on same-sex marriage and abortion perpetual,” said Human Rights Watch Americas division director José Miguel Vivanco.
The Honduran legislature will rubber-stamp the amendment on January 25, and although it must be ratified by Congress in a year, that step is largely considered a mere formality.
Citing Honduras’ high rates of domestic violence and teen pregnancy, pro-abortion activists called the move an “abysmal step backwards.”
“They’ve erected a protective shield against abortion,” said Cristina Alvarado of the Women for Peace Visitación Padilla abortion activism group. “This is historic . . . Even though abortion is already not permitted here in any circumstances, this move bullet-proofs that.”
The Honduran constitutional amendment comes just a month after Argentina became the first major South American nation to legalize abortion on demand up to 14 weeks gestation, a move that saw pro-abortion advocates literally dancing in the streets.
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