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Catholics for Choice Statement on Honduras

May 26, 2009

Catholics for Choice celebrates this week’s victory for the women of Honduras.  CFC commends the president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, for vetoing Congressional Decree 54-2009 which would have criminalized the use, sale, or purchase of emergency contraception, as well as its distribution in pharmacies, even if it was provided free of charge to women who need it. As Catholics, we believe that all women should have immediate and nonjudgmental access to emergency contraception, which when used properly can prevent an unplanned pregnancy.

In his veto, President Zelaya rightly recognized that EC is a legitimate and necessary contraceptive option for women.  The president’s veto rejected claims that the effects of EC were equivalent to abortion, and recalled the rights of women in the Honduran Constitution, its law on equality and opportunities for women and the many international laws and conventions that uphold the right of women to decide on the number and spacing of their children.

This veto is a victory over the Catholic bishops of Honduras and other religious conservatives who have promoted a campaign of misinformation about emergency contraception, and who consistently use their power and influence to try to block advances in reproductive rights and health.  We congratulate the many advocates who have been working tirelessly on this issue, and wish them many more successes in the future.