by Julia Regina de Cardenal, President, Fundación Sí a La Vida
On Sunday, February 3, 2019, the citizens of El Salvador elected a new president for a five-year term: Nayib Bukele, a 37-year-old man who ran as the GANA candidate (Grand Alliance for National Unity), a party known for its centrist-right inclination.
This is the first time that the GANA party has won a major election in the country, breaking the grip held by the two major opposing political parties in the general elections: it was either the rightist political party ARENA (National Republican Alliance) or the leftist political party FMLN that would usually win the elections.
Bukele is in some respects an unknown quantity; previously an FMLN member, he served as mayor of the nation’s capital. There he once celebrated the LGBT movement, but he has also allegedly said he only favors abortion to save the life of the mother. Those signs will likely embolden the anti-life and anti-family movements to ruthlessly pursue their agendas with Bukele as President of El Salvador.
FLMN, Bukele’s former party, accused him previously of disrupting the party and he left. But the FLMN is known for its hard push towards implementation of anti-life and anti-family policies. During the last ten years, there have been FLMN presidents ruling the country. Their terms witnessed to serious attempts to weaken and change the nation’s constitution and laws in these areas: protecting life from conception to natural death with no exceptions, the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman, legalization of abortion and same-sex unions, and even allowing same-sex couples to adopt. Additionally, FLMN leaders have been pushing a gender identity bill that would allow persons to “alter” their biologically ordained sex for another. Luckily, despite such attempts to date, strong national laws in favor of life and family remain in place.
In the midst of this uncertainty, HLI’s affiliate Fundación Sí a La Vida, which translated means “Yes to Life Foundation,” will reach out to Bukele as the new-president elect, before he assumes office June 1, 2019. His wife, Gabriela, is expecting their first child. There is hope Bukele will understand defending life and family enables a country prosper. There is neither prosperity nor justice in the allowing the destruction of human life and the traditional family.
Fundación Sí a La Vida has documented multiple testimonies from mothers deeply grateful for the support provided by its crisis pregnancy assistance since 1994, through which 11,200 lives have been saved. Fundación Sí a La Vida has also been vocal in the public square in affirming abortion never saves the life of the mother in a high-risk pregnancy, while medical treatment for the mother and unborn child is always the life-affirming and scientifically-sound response.
Saint Oscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador, who was canonized in 2018 by Pope Francis, spoke many times against abortion and disordered sexual unions. In a homily he delivered in 1977, he stated: “The prevention (by contraception) of births, homosexuality, premarital relations, abortion, (and) prostitution, are slaves to pleasure, to selfishness….”
It is our hope that El Salvador will remain a nation cherishing life and family in the midst of the demonic storms that seek to ravage our country and the world.