Limassol, Cyprus, April 4, 2018
In a fiery speech broadcast on the Limassol Diocesan radio station over the weekend, His Eminence Metropolitan Athanasios of Limassol called on all believers not to re-vote for the parliamentarians who voted in favor of abortion on Friday, reports vimaorthodoxias.gr.
In his speech, the metropolitan, who never shies away from defense of the truth, named the deputies who voted for the decriminalization of abortion one by one and called on Cypriots not to vote for them in the next election.
Until Friday, Cyprus had some of Europe’s strongest pro-life laws, abortion being available only if the health of the woman was threatened, and in cases of rape and fetal deformity. Doctors who performed abortions for other reasons were subject to up to 14 years in prison, reports lifenews.com.
The controversial matter had gone unaddressed for quite some time, out of fear of reprisal from the powerful Orthodox Church, as73% of Cypriots are Christians, the vast majority of them being Orthodox. However, parliamentarians caved on Friday to the increasing pressure they’d been experiencing in recent years, voting 33-8 to decriminalize abortion, with 5 abstentions.
Unwanted children can now be killed in the womb up to 12 weeks of gestation, and up to 19 weeks in cases of rape, reports Cyprus Mail Online.
“We are doing what should be obvious so no woman goes to prison for an abortion or puts her own life in danger,” Deputy Skevi Koukouma said. Unlawful abortions had reached as high as 9,000 a year. Deputy Aristos Damianou added the lazy argument that the Church is just made up of men who want to tell women what to do.
A new party, The People’s Spirit, that strongly opposes abortion, emerged in Cyprus in recent years. Party leader Athos Kyranides said the party “professes the Orthodox faith, which is based on love and freedom.”
“Each person is free to do as they please but acknowledging and promoting what is illegal and unnatural is another thing… Abortion is everyone’s right. If they want to be a murderer it is their right, but the government cannot encourage this,” Kyranides explained.