DAILY CATHOLIC    MONDAY     November 8, 1999     vol. 10, no. 211

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

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DID UNFPA INTERFERE IN NEW VENEZUELAN CONSTITUTION?

        NEW YORK (CWNews.com) - A top official at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) may have lied to the assembly formulating Venezuela's new constitution, saying that a pro-life provision would violate international conventions, according to a Venezuelan newspaper.

        El Nacional newspaper said that Marisela Padron Quero, a Venezuelan citizen and director of UNFPA's operations in Latin American and the Caribbean, warned the Constituent Assembly against putting a provision in the new constitution that states human life is "inviolable from the moment of conception." She said it would violate international conventions which Venezuela had signed, but a UN source said," Not a single international convention mandates a woman's right to an abortion."

        Earlier this year, new president Hugo Chavez called for the controversial Constituent Assembly which would draft the new constitution. When a drafting committee chaired by Venezuela's First Lady called for stronger protection for the unborn than the last constitution, Padron issued her statement and the provision was dropped from consideration.

        Catholic leaders reacted strongly to the action with Archbishop Ignacio Velasco of Caracas ordering homilies against abortion in every church in the country last week. He also said the Church may work actively to oppose the new constitution. Chavez, who calls himself radically pro-life, has not said whether he supports the provision or not.


Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

November 8, 1999       volume 10, no. 211
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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