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Bishop: Mexico City's Abortion Law a Challenge. Says Society Needs to Be Aware of Rights of Unborn
TEXOCO, Mexico, SEPT. 1, 2008 (Zenit.org).- The preservation of Mexico City's legalization of abortion isn't a defeat for the Church, but rather a call to greater action, says the president of Mexico's episcopal conference.

Bishop Carlos Aguiar Retes of Texcoco told ZENIT this in light of Mexico's Supreme Court decision Thursday to uphold the capital city's legalization of abortion on demand through the first trimester, which came into force in April 2007.

The 8-3 vote opens the way for other states in the country to follow suit, and makes Mexico City one of the few places in Latin America that allows the procedure without limitations.

Bishop Aguiar Retes said he doesn't consider the Supreme Court's decision to be a defeat for the Church, rather "a greater challenge. We need a greater social conscience on the culture of life and the rights of the newly conceived."

He said many there are two main elements of this challenge: "In the first place, we must articulate and organize ourselves to clarify to society and its agencies the concepts in all the aspects and dimensions -- ethical, cultural, medical, anthropological, social and juridical.

"In the second place, as soon as we begin to generate a social conscience, the latter must see to it that politicians legislate according to society's view and to truth."

Bishop Aguiar Retes says he admires and respects the three court justices who voted in favor of life: "It isn't easy to go against the majority and they were able to hold their position in a very dignified way.

"Moreover, they truly decided on their vote, going to the heart of the matter, that is, that there is human life from the moment of fertilization."

He added that the pro-life elements of society did what they could in this case: "I think the arguments presented before the Court, by those who manifested themselves in favor of life, are more than sufficient to show that life begins at conception.

"Now they must be made known in all realms of society."