Card Gracias: a day of mourning against abortion law
by Nirmala Carvalho

India's abortion law will be 50 years old on 10 August. Indian bishops are urged to promote a pro-life mindset in Indian society.


New Delhi (AsiaNews) – Card Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai and president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, has urged fellow bishops to hold a national "Day of Mourning" on 10 August, 50th anniversary of the country’s abortion law.

In a letter sent to Indian prelates, Card Gracias explains that “in our country after that legislation [. . .] there is no sign of slowing down of this anti-life trend.”

The purpose of this day is to “express our sorrow at the killing of unwanted babies,” so that “we can promote a pro-life mindset in our society.”

The text goes on to suggest some initiatives that could be implemented on this day of sorrow.

For Bishop Thomas Elavanal of Kalyan, “God is the Creator of life. Life is sacred and precious in the sight of God and so life is to be protected and promoted right from the first moment of its existence, as we say, from womb to tomb.”

“Any Medical intervention has to be solely for the purpose of saving life,” noted Dr Pascoal Carvalho, a Mumbai doctor member of the Pontifical Academy for Life. “Calling Abortion, a Medical intervention, is a subtle way of disguising a horrendous act towards a defenceless person”.

“Initially the MTP Act[*] allowed termination of pregnancy up to 20 weeks,” Dr Carvalho explained. But “In March 2021, nearly 50 years later, the Amendment to the Act allows termination of pregnancy up to 24 weeks.”

For Dr Carvalho, “from the moment of conception i.e., on the very first day of its life in the womb, the unborn child is a person and has equal rights as any adult.”

[*] Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act.