Parliamentary Network E-News

Volume 15
No. 4
April, 2021
 
Breaking News

UK Cuts Funding to UNFPA and Pro-Abortion Organizations


The UK government announced that it is reducing its international aid due to the economic costs of the pandemic, an action which will impact the operation of pro-abortion organizations. According to International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), the reduction in aid includes “allocated funding for vital sexual and reproductive health services.”

IPPF expects to lose approximately $100 million resulting in closure of offices in four countries. It also expects that “without additional funding, IPPF will be forced to close services in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Zambia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Cote D’Ivoire, Cameroon, Uganda, Nepal and Lebanon and may be forced to close services in an additional 9 countries, withdrawing support for SRH services from approximately 4,500 service delivery points globally.”

The UK also informed UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, that it would be reducing its commitment by 85%, an anticipated loss of $180 million from the $322 million UNFPA expected from the UK for 2021 and 2022. The UK is its largest bilateral donor in 2020.

The official response from UNPFA includes:

“UNFPA, the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency, has been informed that the Government of the United Kingdom intends to implement an approximate 85 per cent cut to UNFPA Supplies, the UNFPA flagship programme for family planning, this year. This means that the expected contribution of £154 million ($211 million) for 2021 now will be reduced to around £23 million ($32 million), a retreat from agreed commitments made to the programme in 2020. 

“In addition, £12 million ($17 million) is to be cut from UNFPA’s core operating funds. Several country-level agreements are also likely to be impacted.”

UNFPA’s “flagship program for family planning”—UNFPA Supplies Partnership—can also be called its program for abortion provision. The RU-486 abortion drug pack Misoprostol-Mifepristone, the abortion drug Mifepristone, and MVA (manual vacuum aspiration) kits are all listed as part of “Maternal health supplies”. Mifepristone has no use other than stopping the flow of progesterone to the unborn child causing his or her death while Misoprostol and MVA kits have life-affirming maternal uses.

According to IPPF, the “shocking 85% funding slash for UNFPA will also increase the price of commodities and supplies of contraception globally, making it more difficult for our Member Associations to source affordable supplies and maintain sustainability.”

MSI Reproductive Choices, formerly Marie Stopes International, also condemned the cuts in funding for “sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights” and stated that “we fear the damage to women’s lives and futures will be worse than that caused by Trump’s Global Gag Rule”, referring to President Trump’s Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance Policy. The Trump policy prevented U.S. funding to international organizations that promoted or performed abortion and instead supported the work of organizations helping both women and children survive pregnancy and childbirth. 

Focus on the United States

Pro-Abortion Groups Both Praise and Demand More from Biden-Harris


President Biden's first 100 days have been filled with many catastropic and sweeping changes to advance access to abortion under the guise of "reproductive health and reproductive rights" while preparing an enabligh environment for additional action on abortion as detailed by the Susan B. Anthony List. Pro-life groups are outraged whlie pro-abortion groups are demanding more action from the abortion President.

In a letter to Biden- Call for Executive Action on United States Abortion Restrictions on Foreign Aid- over 140 pro-abortion organizations ask him to go further to implement "the policy of hte US to support women's and girls' sexual and reproductive health and rights in the US, as well as globally." 
 
The goal of the organizations is the complete repeal of the Helms Amendment which prevents U.S. funds from paying for abortion. In the interim, however, the groups demand executive action and guidance from relevant agencies and departments “to clarify and implement US foreign assistance support for abortion care to the maximum extent allowed under the Helms Amendment, namely by immediately clarifying that funds can be used to support abortion care provided in cases of rape, incest, or life endangerment of the pregnant person.”  
 
They also seek guidance “to proactively clarify that US foreign assistance may be used for abortion information and counseling under the Leahy Amendment.” The demands also include that the administration address “many other important sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) priorities, through the White House Gender Policy Council, with its focus on promoting SRHR domestically and globally, in order to bring US policy in line with its human rights obligations and the administration’s stated commitment to advancing global health and equity.”
 
The groups demand “robust support for sexual and reproductive health and rights, including eliminating Helms and similar abortion coverage restrictions from the Fiscal Year 2022 budget.” They seek support for H.R. 1670, the Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act, “which repeals the Helms Amendment and replaces it with proactive language allowing for funding of comprehensive abortion services, training and equipment.”
 
Twitter reveals that disappointment felt by ardent pro-abortion activists that President Biden “still couldn't even utter the word ‘abortion’ in his state of the union speech.” The failure of President Biden, and his press secretary to say the word “abortion” has also angered activists. The failure to include ‘abortion’ in the White House statement on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade or press secretary Jen Psaki’s response when asked about abortion is “Well, the president goes to church and he’s a very devout Catholic” are often cited as examples where Biden has disappointed them.

Biden Administration Enables DIY Abortion


The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued a new guidance during the pandemic on the abortion drug Mifepristone/Mifeprex eliminating the longstanding safety precaution requiring that the drug be obtained during an in-person visit. The decision enables women to receive the drugs by mail in order to abort their unborn child at home, a long-time goal of pro-abortion activists.

The FDA explains that the new dispensing requirement eliminates “any in-person requirement” and the Agency will allow the drug to be sent “through the mail, either by or under the supervision of a certified prescriber, or through a mail-order pharmacy when such dispensing is done under the supervision of a certified prescriber.”

The decision overturns the FDA’s long standing safety concerns that without an in-person visit, healthcare providers may not be able to make critical determinations regarding dating pregnancies accurately and diagnosing ectopic pregnancies that could adversely impact women’s health.

The change is controversial when considering other guidance on the FDA webpage including a list of 7 categories of concern for women who should not take the drug; a list of side effects of the drug including heavy bleeding; reports of 24 deaths of women associated; and requirements that healthcare providers who prescribe the drug must have the ability to provide any necessary surgical intervention and must be able to ensure that women have access to medical facilities for emergency care.

The U.S. Supreme Court in a 6-3 decision in January upheld the FDA requirement that women pick up their abortion pills in-person

 

Defending Life

Vatican Secretary of State: Sad to See Loss of Faith and Reason in Europe


Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin expressed his sorrow at the abortion and euthanasia laws being passed in Europe stating in an interview, “I am very sorry for the loss of faith in our Europe, in our culture, in our countries, and these anthropological changes that are taking place, losing the identity of the human person. Before a loss of faith, I would say that it is a loss of reason.”

"Why? The pope says it many times. It shocked me a lot. He says for example: the question of abortion is not a religious question. It is certainly also for us Christians from the beginning, from the first documents of the Church, there is a total rejection of abortion, but it is an argument of reason. Likely today, as Benedict XVI was saying, the fundamental problem is reason, not faith.”

Cardinal Parolin said that the Church’s response to these societal changes should be “to offer a coherent and convinced witness of Christian life.”

“It seems to me that the situation we are experiencing can be compared with the first centuries of the Church, when the Apostles and the first disciples arrived in a society that did not have Christian values, ​​but through their testimony of the first communities managed to change the mentality and introduce the values ​​of the Gospel in the society of that time. I think this is the way we still have to do today,” he commented.

 


African Cardinal Urges Modernization without “Foreign Ideologies”


One of the most senior Catholic leaders in Africa, Cardinal Philippe Ouédraogo from Burkina Faso and head of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar, denounced the attempt to impose "foreign ideologies" and urged Africans to seek modernization without succumbing to Western influences that erode family bonds.

The Cardinal addressed the concerns in his Easter homily stating Christians had a right "to speak up for human life, without fear”. He stated, "Human life is sacred, and practices such as abortion and homicide are offenses punished by excommunication. We are observing the spread of a mindset and policies that devalue the engendering of human life.

"The church can make its contribution by calling a halt to this dictatorship of uniform thought and manipulated information, which deceives and compromises the life of entire generations by promoting a culture of death through abortion and euthanasia, contraceptive and anti-birth measures.

"In Africa, as around the world, the family is the primary cell not just of a living ecclesial community but also of society.

"However, we are witnessing important mutations in contemporary society which contradict many family values, especially African ones. In adopting the positive values of modernity as active subjects of the world's future, African Christian families should rebel against this," he said.

 


Alveda King: Planned Parenthood Cannot Distance Itself from Racism


Evangelist Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Director of Civil Rights for the Unborn, challenges the CEO of Planned Parenthood Alexis McGill Johnson that denouncing the racist views of its founder Margaret Sanger in an op-ed is meaningless if the organization continues to carry on “with its genocide of the black community through abortion”.

King writes, “The pro-life movement and the National Black Pro-Life Coalition have been talking about Planned Parenthood’s racism for decades. The shocking statistic that black women have more than one-third of all abortions despite making up just 13% of the population has fallen on deaf ears time and time again. It’s also no secret that some 80% of abortion killing centers set up shop in minority communities, but we are the ones accused of being racist for pointing it out.

“For a time, more babies were being aborted than born in New York City. That should have been front-page news and on every network, but it was ignored.

She continues, Planned Parenthood has renamed its Margaret Sanger Award and changed the moniker of its Manhattan flagship abortuary, both meaningless gestures. And while McGill Johnson insists her New York Times piece isn’t “virtue signaling,” that’s exactly what it is. She’s telling us the organization now recognizes that racism is bad while assuring us its attempts to annihilate the black community will continue unhindered but now with a veneer of wokeness.

Alveda King points out that under the Biden-Harris administration, $50 million in federal Title X funding is being restored to Planned Parenthood. She writes, “Those funds, which were cut off by President Donald Trump, can’t be used for abortion, but they have been, and will be again, used to sterilize and contracept black men and women. The dream of Margaret Sanger lives on.”

 

Focus on the United Nations

UNFPA Promotes Abortion in the Name of Bodily Autonomy


The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) confirmed its work promoting abortion in its recent World Population 2021 report— My body is my own. Claiming the Right to Autonomy and Self-Determination.

It boasts, “At UNFPA, realizing bodily autonomy is everything we do”, and explains that bodily autonomy relates to a range of issues “including abortion, age of consent, surrogacy, sex work and more.” The term is further explained as being used by “advocates, activists and human rights experts surrounding issues related to sexuality, health, reproductive rights, sexual orientation, gender identity, transactional sex, surrogacy, disability status, abortion and more.”

The report continuously links access to abortion—in the name of bodily autonomy and integrity— to gender equality. UNFPA states that “achieving bodily autonomy and integrity for women and girls depends on realizing gender equality on all fronts, and that sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights are among the most important entry points.”

UNFPA references the non-binding recommendations of UN treaty monitoring bodies advocating for access to abortion in the section “Abortion and bodily integrity and autonomy”. It includes the opinion of the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights that laws and policies “can fulfil a government’s human rights obligations provided they are enabling and guarantee all individuals access to affordable, safe and effective contraceptives and comprehensive sexuality education, liberalize restrictive abortion laws, guarantee women and girls access to safe abortion services…”

UNFPA highlights UN Women’s new “Generation Equality” campaign stating, “Generation Equality has a chance to see choice and autonomy finally, irrevocably, reaching everyone.” UNFPA co-leads, along with a number of pro-abortion organizations including IPPF, IWHC, and Arrow, the action coalition on bodily autonomy and sexual and reproductive health and rights.

In the foreward of the report, Dr. Natalia Kanem, Executive Director of UNFPA, writes: “Through our leadership in the new Generation Equality Action Coalition on Bodily Autonomy and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, and through this edition of the State of World Population, UNFPA is highlighting why bodily autonomy is a universal right that must be upheld.”

She concludes, “Let us therefore claim the right for each individual to make decisions about their body and enjoy the freedom of informed choices. All of us want this. All of us should have it. It is at the core of our humanity, and we should never lose sight of just how much depends on it—for everyone.”

The Center for Reproductive Rights’ press release on UNFPA’s report stated that the report displayed “the agency’s evolving radical agenda.”

Read more here


WHO’s Tedros Speaks during Pro- Abortion Dialogue


Pro-abortion NGOs are atwitter about WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’ concluding speech during the virtual 2021 Global Safe Abortion Dialogue with pro-abortion activists from 50 countries who assembled “to renew commitments to a Common Agenda for choice and access.”

According to tweets, he said, “Almost every death & injury that results from unsafe abortion could be prevented by effective contraception, the provision of safe abortion & timely post-abortion care.” Tedros also said, “Inequality & lack of access to basic health services lie at the root many of these issues” and announced that new WHO guidelines on abortion are coming soon.

@DrTedros expressed his thanks to pro-abortion Ipas, Marie Stopes (now MSI Choices), Sida, and Amplify Fund for inviting him to speak and concluded that “We can only address this issue through health equity, partnership & strengthening health systems.” Funding for abortion is the main goal of the Abortion Dialogue.

Another speaker was Delphine O, Secretary General for Generation Equality Forum, who said, "The Forum Generation Equality should lead to a commitment at the highest political level on the right of access to safe and legal abortion, everywhere and for all women and girls."

She was thanked for “putting focus on abortion as a fundamental human right”.

 

Legislative News

UK: Legislators Form New All-Party Group to Oppose Euthanasia


UK Members of Parliament have organized a parliamentary group to combat efforts to legalize assisted suicide. The All Party Parliamentary Group for Dying Well, chaired by MP Danny Kruger, promotes quality end-of-life care and opposes euthanasia. “Once you have conceded, legally, the right of some people to request official help to kill themselves, that right quickly becomes universal,” said Kruger. He explained the slippery slope demonstrated by other countries such as Belgium and the Netherlands where legal euthanasia is quickly expanding to include more and more circumstances. “A far better solution is to invest in the comparatively recent medical specialty of palliative care,” Kruger said. The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) welcomed the new all-party group: “It is encouraging to see MPs take positive action to oppose the campaign to legalize euthanasia in this country.”

 


U.S.: Pro-Life Members Seek to Discharge Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act


US Representatives Steve Scalise, Ann Wagner, and Kat Cammack have filed a petition to discharge H.R. 619, the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. H.R. 619 would require medical providers to offer adequate care to babies who survive an abortion and immediately seek hospital treatment. The bill would institute criminal penalties for those who refuse to offer young abortion survivors the same level of care as a baby its same gestational age. The discharge petition, which would bring the bill to a vote before the House of Representatives, needs 218 signatures to do so. The petition currently has 209 signatures and will remain open for the remainder of the 117th Congress.

 


Canada: MPs to Vote on Bill to Ban Sex Selective Abortion


Canadian lawmakers will soon vote on a bill to ban sex selection abortion. The private member’s bill, Bill C-233, the Sex Selective Abortion Act, was introduced by MP Cathay Wagantall. Wagantall said her bill promotes gender equality for all females and encouraged all MPs to support it, including liberals who claim to be feminists. "I encourage every member of this House to have the courage to exercise their rightful freedom to vote their own conscience, the way that we on this side of the floor have that freedom to do and pass this bill," said Wagantall. Conservative leader Erin O’Toole is permitting a free vote on the bill.

 


Mexico: State Approves Bill to Strengthen Pro-Life Protections


The Mexican state of Querétaro has passed legislation to increase protections for pregnant women and unborn children. The new law bolsters the state’s constitution that protects life from the moment of conception and considers the child in the womb already born for legal intents and purposes. Sponsored by Deputy Elsa Méndez, the bill was introduced on March 25th, the Day of the Unborn Child. The bill creates "the obligation to provide comprehensive protection for motherhood and (the unborn child’s) life” during pregnancy, explained Méndez. The legislation from the local government sends a strong message to the federal government opposing attempts to remove pro-life protections from the national constitution.

 


Colombia: Euthanasia Bill Fails to Pass Again


Colombian lawmakers have rejected a bill to legalize euthanasia. The legislation is the latest attempt to regulate assisted suicide laws since a 1997 Constitutional Court ruling instructed the legislature do so. Mixed interpretations of the court’s decision and inaction by the legislature have resulted in confusion over the current law, which prohibits euthanasia. The bill fell two votes short of the 85 it needed to pass.  

 


Europe: Assisted Suicide Bills Rejected in France and Latvia


Two recent attempts to legalize assisted suicide in Europe failed to pass. In France, the Parliament failed to pass a bill to legalize euthanasia after it ran out of time for a vote. Opponents of the bill filed close to 3,000 amendments which held up the legislative proceedings. French President Macron has yet to take a stand on the bill, though he has indicated a personal support for assisted suicide.

The Saemia, Latvia’s parliament, voted against a public petition, the “Good for Death” initiative, urging the legalization of euthanasia. Opponents argued the country needed to first establish a palliative care system before discussing assisted suicide. “I was taught to fight for patients’ lives to the end. I cannot imagine injecting a person with some substance to help them die – not for any amount of money,” said Deputy Vitālijs Orlovs, who is also a doctor. Prior to the vote, the legislative committee heard from medical providers and Christian churches who all advised against legalizing euthanasia.

 

Executive News

Mexico: President Pauses Changes to Country’s Pro-Life Constitution


Efforts to amend Mexico’s pro-life constitution were suspended by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, citing the need to consult public opinion. President López Obrador recommended legislators utilize an informal referendum, saying his suggestion “is that citizens be consulted on controversial issues, where there are substantive differences. Consultation and that the people decide, let the people decide.” Proposed changes to Mexico’s constitution would open the door to increased access to abortion and gender ideology through the addition of terms such as “reproductive autonomy,” “sexual and reproductive health services,” "gender expression,” "same-sex marriages,” "sexual and genital identity,” and generic sexes into the constitution. The president referred to not having enough time in the session, which ends April 30th, to make the changes. The Chamber of Deputies faces election this June.

 


Russia: Deputy Prime Minister Announces Steady Decline in Abortions


Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova announced a significant drop in the number of abortions in Russia the past five years, 39% since 2016. Golikova also noted the rising average age of mothers and a stabilization of the country’s long running declining birth rate, and a hope the change in trend would continue. Recently, legislation was introduced to limit abortion services to only state-run facilities, banning private clinics. Another MP has called for stronger regulations on abortion advertising.

 


Scotland: Bishops Urge Catholics to Focus on Candidates’ Stance on Life Issues


Ahead of upcoming national and local elections, the Catholic Bishops of Scotland are calling for “human life and the dignity of the human person to be at the centre of Scotland’s political discourse.” A letter from the bishops urged Catholics to focus on candidates’ stances on important life issues and vote accordingly: “As Catholics we have a duty; to share the Gospel and to help form public conscience on key moral issues. It is a duty of both faith and citizenship. This election is an opportunity to be the effective witness our Baptism calls us to be. 

“It is the duty of parliamentarians to uphold the most basic and fundamental human right to life. Elected representatives ought to recognize the existence of human life from the moment of conception and be committed to the protection of human life at every stage. Caring for the unborn and their mothers is a fundamental measure of a caring and compassionate society; a society which puts human dignity at the centre.

Election day is May 6, 2021.

 

Judicial News

U.S.: Court Upholds Ohio Law Banning Abortion for Down Syndrome


The 6th U.S. Circuit of Court of Appeals has ruled Ohio’s law banning abortions performed on the basis of a Down syndrome diagnosis “valid in all conceivable cases.” The law, House Bill 214, would impose criminal penalties on medical providers to up to 18 months in prison for knowingly performing an abortion based on a diagnosis of Down syndrome. The ruling reveres a 2019 court decision blocking enforcement of the law. 

 


Guam: Judge Recommends Denying Case Challenging Abortion Requirements


A case to make abortion available through telemedicine in Guam is unlikely to proceed after a judge recommended the request be denied. A case filed by the ACLU on behalf of two Hawaiian physicians sought to remove in-person requirements for abortion. Guam’s law requires in-person consultation 24 hours before the procedure. Magistrate Judge Heather Kennedy’s recommendation stated that the doctors “have not sufficiently shown” that Guam’s law burdens access to abortion and recommended against granting the case a preliminary injunction. The judge explained the law does not create an undue burden because it only requires a "single trip to a qualified person’s office in Guam — and in some cases, the trip is not even an additional trip. Some women first need to obtain ultrasounds or other tests before the abortion and could receive the information in-person during that visit." 

 


Ecuador: Court Approves Abortion in Cases of Rape


Ecuador’s Constitutional Court has ruled to permit abortion in cases of rape. The 7-2 decision expands Ecuador’s law, which only permitted abortion in cases of rape of a woman with mental disabilities or when there was a risk to the woman’s life. The country’s constitution includes protections for the unborn: “The state shall recognize and guarantee life including its care and protection from conception.” Bishops of Ecuador wrote to the court to uphold the law, arguing against responding to one crime with another. The bishops also noted that the issue has already been "debated and rejected several times in recent months by the National Assembly and vetoed by the Executive." In making this ruling, the Court “would completely ignore the deep debate and concern that this issue raised in the Assembly,” said the bishops.  

 


 
 
Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues
Advancing global respect and dignity for life through law and policy.

In this issue

 

Breaking News

UK Cuts Funding to UNFPA and Pro-Abortion Organizations


Focus on the U.S.

Pro-Abortion Groups Both Praise and Demand More from Biden-Harris

Biden Administration Enables DIY Abortion

 

Defending Life  

Vatican Secretary of State: Sad to See Loss of Faith and Reason in Europe

African Cardinal Urges Modernization without “Foreign Ideologies” 

Alveda King: Planned Parenthood Cannot Distance Itself from Racism

 

United Nations

UNFPA Promotes Abortion in the Name of Bodily Autonomy

WHO’s Tedros Speaks during Pro- Abortion Dialogue

 

Legislative News

UK: Legislators Form New All-Party Group to Oppose Euthanasia

U.S.: Pro-Life Members Seek to Discharge Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act

CAN: MPs Given Free Vote on Bill to Ban Sex Selective Abortion

Mexico: State Approves Bill to Strengthen Pro-Life Protections

Colombia: Euthanasia Bill Fails to Pass Again

Europe: Assisted Suicide Bills Rejected in France and Latvia

 

Executive News

Mexico: President Pauses Changes to Country’s Pro-Life Constitution

Russia: Deputy Prime Minister Announces Steady Decline in Abortions

Scotland: Bishops Urge Catholics to Focus on Candidates’ Stance on Life Issues

 

Judicial News

U.S.: Court Upholds Ohio Law Banning Abortion for Down Syndrome

Guam: Judge Recommends Denying Case Challenging Abortion Requirements