Photo: Uruguay Bishops Say Legislators Who Voted to Allow Abortions are Excommunicated
In response to recent legislation allowing women in Uruguay to have abortions in their first trimester, bishops in the country are now stating that any legislator who voted to allow it are automatically excommunicated.
Bishop Heriberto Bodeant Fernández of Melo recently told the Catholic News Agency, ‘Automatic excommunication is for those who collaborate in the execution of an abortion in a direct way. If a Catholic votes…with the manifest intention that he thinks the Church is wrong about this, he separates himself from the communion of the Church.
‘Excommunication means you are not in communion with the ecclesial community to which you openly claim to belong by doing something that puts you outside communion, and therefore you cannot participate in the Eucharist.’
Bishop Bodeant is the secretary for the Uruguayan bishops’ conference and holds the belief that life begins at conception and must be respected, saying the right to life is “above all others.”
After Bishop Bodeant shared his statements, the conference released their own to clarify his comments, saying, “Automatic excommunication is for those who collaborate in the execution of an abortion in a direct way, and direct means committing that specific act.”
President Jose Mujica has said he supports the legislation and his aid has said he plans to sign it into law in November.
In September the bill was narrowly approved by Uruguay’s lower house, and earlier this month, was approved by the 31-member Senate by a vote of 17-14.
It is estimated that around 33,000 women were having illegal abortions in the Latin American country, with an unknown number suffering complications or death.