By Dave Andrusko
Aristotle is credited with observing, “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” I thought of that fundamental insight in character formation when I learned from the Catholic News Agency that the “Mexican state legislature of Nuevo Leon passed an education reform bill May 21 to foster a ‘respect for life from conception to natural death’ in students.”
The constitution of the state of Nuevo Leon, which is located in Northeastern Mexico, and the educational initiative go hand in hand. The constitution affirms that
“the state recognizes, protects and defends the right to life that every human being has. From the moment of conception that life comes under the protection of the Law and is considered as having been born with regards to all corresponding legal effects until its natural death.”
State legislator Juan Carlos Leal introduced the education reform bill. Speaking with ACI Prensa, the Catholic News Agency’s Spanish languages news partner, Leal said the law will “definitely have a big impact especially on the values of Mexican citizens.”
He explained, “We want to create a new generation of students that have values and respect, which unfortunately in Mexico, we have seen is being lost.”
CNA quoted Marcial Padilla, The director of the ConParticipación platform, who said, “The initiative to recognize the right to life in education will help young people, adolescents and children learn to appreciate human life.”
Also welcoming that passage of the law was Fr. José Manuel Suazo Reyes, director of the communications office of the Archdiocese of Xalapa. CNA reported he sent out a letter on May 24, titled, “The Culture of Life Advances,” on behalf of the archdiocese.
Fr. Suazo wrote
“Mexico continues to cry out that it loves and wants life” and that “abortion is not the solution” for distressed mothers, and that it is essential that the government support the broader culture of life in the country.
“It’s important for the state to protect life, but it is also essential that it form citizens in respect and care for life,” the letter continued. “This reform creates awareness in students of the dignity that every human life has, thus contributing to the reduction of discriminatory, aggressive and even criminal behavior, as is the case with abortion.”
Fr. Suazo called the law “a very important step in the culture of life.”
Another welcomed sign was the overwhelming response to the May 23 March for Life. Like so many activities, this was held online because of the coronavirus. However it attracted more than 500,000 participants on Facebook alone, Fr. Suazo told CNA.
“Today more than ever life is threatened,” he said. “We must protect ourselves from those anti-life mentalities that despise the lives of others.”