Reverend backs abortion bill, urges ‘serenity’ in legislative discourse
By John McPhaul
The Rev. Nephtali Marrero Rodríguez, pastor of the Iglesia de Dios Mission Board, known in Spanish as Altísima Adoración, in San Juan and executive assistant of the Pentecostal Fraternity of Puerto Rico gave his support on Wednesday to Senate Bill 693, which would tighten restrictions on abortion after 22 weeks of pregnancy.
“I understand that the legislative body of the country must face the issue of the legal regulation of the interruption of a woman’s pregnancy, and it cannot be done lightly and must be approached with serenity,” Reverend Marrero Rodríguez said in a written statement.
“The fetus is more of a ‘someone’ than a ‘something.’ I cannot deny without lying to myself that I am convinced that in the womb there is a human life in formation that is worthy of protection,” he added. “Faced with this reality of abortion, the responsible legislative body should not look the other way. Abortion is always an evil because it kills a germ of life and breaks a natural biological line.”
“Abortion is not a good or a right,” Marrero Rodríguez continued. “At the core of my faith and religious convictions is the defense of life and the protection of the weakest, values that are the heritage of the humanist tradition of those conservative Puerto Ricans who preserve life.”
He also separated himself from the statements of Senate President José Luis Dalmau Santiago, who described abortion as murder.
“I want to express my solidarity with the president of the Senate, José Luis Dalmau, who made some statements that, from his Faith perspective, it seemed to him to come to think that if, as scientists say, the life of a baby was already viable [at 22 weeks of gestation], then [an abortion] would be considered homicide,” the reverend said. “Mothers [should] not be referred to in that way because it’s not against a woman. A woman who goes to a place of this nature under the impression that she is doing what is right for her or for the well-being of her family or herself, arriving there with fear, with so much pressure, we could not call her [a murderer].”
“I believe that the waves of comments against the statements of the President of the Senate have been misinterpreted by a political group from the Popular [Democratic] Party itself who are against Dalmau,” Marrero Rodríguez opined. “I think that in the face of Holy Week where we remember the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, history repeats itself where they are crucifying the political leadership that is expressing itself in favor of life and against abortion. I also value the position against abortion of Senators Joanne Rodríguez Veve, Thomas Rivera Schatz and Keren Riquelme.”