Parliamentary Network E-News

Volume 15
No. 9
September, 2021
 
Focus on the United Nations

Sex Abuse and Coerced Abortion by WHO Employees


The devastating report by an Independent Commission confirms that World Health Organization (WHO) employees and other aid workers engaged in sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, rape, and coerced abortion between 2018-2020 while working on the Ebola crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo. News agencies first reported the allegations which led to WHO authorizing the report.
 
The Commission investigated charges against 83 aid works, including 21 WHO employees, following accusations by more than 50 women, aged 13 to 43 years with average age of 20, who reported negative employment consequences if they refused demands for sex. Of the allegations analyzed by the Commission so far, 29 women and girls became pregnant as a result of the sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) and 22 women gave birth. Nine rapes were also reported.
 
According to the Final Report of the Independent Commission, “In the course of its investigations, the review team was able to establish that alleged victims were promised jobs in exchange for relationships or were sexually exploited in order to keep a job with the response.” The majority of the victims were dependent on the jobs for economic livelihoods with the report stating that “very few of them were able to complete their secondary education, and some had never set foot in school.”
 
The Independent Commission reports, “Other alleged victims told investigators that some of the men who abused them also coerced them into having an abortion when they became pregnant, if necessary, by giving them drugs or even injections.” 
 
The Commission highlighted the use of abortion pills—an abortion process WHO advances for in the name of “self-care”—stating: “And in view of the way in which some of the alleged and identified perpetrators are said to have behaved - some even administering abortion pills to some of the women – the Independent Commission considers it imperative that these alleged victims receive immediate medical assistance to deal with the consequences of the trauma they have suffered.” The report does not explain how the abusers administered abortion pills to the women.
 
The next steps for WHO include setting up a working group to offer support and psychological assistance for the victims and mandating “proposals on the possibilities of granting reparations to the victims following duly conducted investigations” which include DNA testing of abusers and children. 
 
The report includes an acknowledgement that more victims may be revealed stating, “The Independent Commission wishes to clarify that this is not an exhaustive list of alleged victims or perpetrators. In this regard, it is worth noting that the Independent Commission continues to receive reports of alleged sexual exploitation and abuse during the 10th Ebola response.”

UN “Experts” Show Pro-Abortion Activist Allegiance


A UN group of so-called experts used their UN positions to issued two radical pro-abortion statements. In the first statement—United States: UN experts denounce further attacks against right to safe abortion and Supreme Court complicity— they denounced Texas Senate Bill 8 prohibiting abortion after a heartbeat is detected. They called the law “alarming” and that it “epitomizes a series of retrogressions in the United States on the right to abortion notwithstanding constitutional recognition of that right”. 
 
They were also critical of the Supreme Court’s decision to deny the emergency pro-abortion request to stop the law from taking effect stating: "We urge relevant judicial authorities to halt the implementation of this law which violates women's fundamental human rights and generates a climate of stigma and fear…”
 
They falsely claim that with passage of the Texas law, “the United States stands in violation of international law. Legal restrictions on abortion such as those contained in Texas S.B. 8 violate the rights of pregnant women to life, health (including sexual and reproductive health), privacy, bodily integrity, equality and non-discrimination, and freedom from cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment as well as gender-based violence.”
 
The US government is urged "to prevent retrogression in access to abortion in the United States and instead enact positive measures to ensure access to safe and legal abortion". The group states its fear that “states will continue pursuing this pattern" adding their concern over what is described as “the influence of ideologically and religiously motivated interference in public health matters” explained as being “particularly detrimental to the health and well-being of women and girls.”
 
The second statement was issued in support of the day designated by pro-abortion groups as “International Safe Abortion Day” which claimed that “abortion is essential health care and a human right”. It further reiterated pro-abortion talking points including: “Denial of access to abortion services jeopardizes a person's physical and mental health and takes away their autonomy and agency. It unjustly denies them the freedom to live with dignity and on equal terms with other human beings while exposing them to various forms of violence and oppression.”
 
It continued, “Religious fundamentalists and their political allies have led an organized and well- funded global political backlash against gender equality by invoking religious freedom and traditional values and abortion has been placed at its center. This backlash, in particular against those who require abortions and those healthcare providers who are abortion providers, is being propelled by some Governments who continue to challenge the universality of human rights in global political spaces, including at the Human Rights Council, as well as locally."
 
The group is composed of Special Rapporteurs and members of Working Groups, part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. They are “independent experts” who work on a voluntary basis, are not UN staff and are not paid for their work. Many are associated with radical pro-abortion organizations.
 
The group includes the chair, vice-chair and members of the Working Group on discrimination against women and girls; the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, Tlaleng Mofokeng; the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Reem Alsalem; and the chair, vice-chair and members of the Working Group on arbitrary detention. 

UN Women’s Feminist Plan Beyond COVID Includes Abortion


UN Women launched what it describes as “a new flagship report”, “Beyond COVID-19: A Feminist Plan for Sustainability and Social Justice,” on the sidelines of UNGA 76 calling on governments to ensure that during the COVID-19 recovery feminist and other organizations are enabled to “resist backlash” by “building progressive coalitions”. The Feminist Plan is touted as a “visionary but practical roadmap for putting gender equality, social justice, and sustainability at the centre of the recovery and transformation”. 
 
UN Women states that it “is building upon the momentum of the Generation Equality Forum and celebrating the Generation Equality Action Coalitions as they take needed urgent action towards gender equality.” One of the action coalitions lead by UNPFA is “Bodily autonomy and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR)”. It states in the Forum’s 5-year Global Acceleration Plan that it seeks to removal of pro-life laws—so-called restrictive policies and legal barriers—to ensure that “50 million more adolescent girls and women in all their diversity live in jurisdictions where they can access safe and legal abortion by 2026.”
 
The Feminist Plan cites abortion policy changes in Argentina as a successful example of feminist leadership stating, “Broad-based feminist street mobilizations kept the pressure on the Government, creating insider-outsider networks of influence. This was especially important in rallying legislative support to legalize access to abortion in Argentina in December 2020, an historic achievement made amid immense pressure to shelve the issue and focus exclusively on the ongoing economic and health emergency.”
 
The Plan builds on other UN reports on COVID including UN Secretary-General António Guterres’s policy brief: The impact of COVID-19 on women which states that “the UN is working with Governments and partners to ensure continued attention to sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls". Last year’s Insights to Action’ on the impacts of COVID-19 stated that “Sexual and reproductive health services must get priority” with the #1 policy action recommendation: “Protect women’s health and well-being, including ensuring access to sexual and reproductive health services.” 

3 Philanthropies Pledge $700 Million to Generation Equality


The heads of three abortion-supporting philanthropies wrote about their contribution to UN Women’s Generation Equality Forum (GEF) expressing support for the “five-year global journey focused on accelerating change for gender equality”. They express the hope that the UN General Assembly will support the GEF and will issue an "accountability mechanism" for commitments made at GEF. 
 
Mark Malloch-Brown, president of Open Society Foundations, Kate Hampton, CEO of the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation and Laura Garcia, CEO of the Global Greengrants Fund lament that COVID-19 has “undone years of progress” toward gender equality emphasizing “a loss of reproductive rights”. They express their view that if “we want to build back better from the pandemic, we must support women and girls” and stop “backtracking on reproductive rights during COVID-19”.
 
They explain that their philanthropies came together at the GEF in Paris “to commit at least $700 million U.S. dollars toward issues like sexual and reproductive health and rights, economic justice, gender-based violence, climate justice and feminist leadership and movements.” GEF seeks to ensure that “50 million more adolescent girls and women in all their diversity live in jurisdictions where they can access safe and legal abortion by 2026” by overturning pro-life laws and policies around the world.
 
They highlight the fact that “Argentina has legalized abortion” and that “countries in all regions of the world can innovate and lead on gender equality”. As philanthropies, they state that they “must and will strive to maintain gender equality at the top of our agendas” through continued funding. 
 
They pledge to work to “keep gender equality a top-drawer priority for governments and the world's leading institutions, advocating to ensure that future decision points in global development, like UNGA and the U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP), incorporate the needs and perspectives of women and girls.”
International Pressure for Abortion

U.S.: Democrats in the House Approves Radical Abortion Law


Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives passed what is considered the most extreme abortion bill yet. The Women’s Health Protection Act, H.R. 3755, would not only make the landmark Supreme Court decision Roe v Wade a federal law, overriding all state laws and protections for life, but would go further. Under this new legislation, abortion would be legal on demand up to birth. Current laws requiring informed consent, informational waiting periods, conscience protections, and laws requiring only physicians perform abortions would all become void. 
 
“This bill is far outside the American mainstream and goes far beyond Roe v. Wade,” said Rep. Chris Smith, co-chairman of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus. “This bill constitutes an existential threat to unborn children and to the value of life itself.” 
 
Rep Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the mother of a son with Down syndrome, implored Members of the House: “My hope is that we open our minds to science and technology, that we look and see the mysteries of a mother’s womb, and open our ears to the cries of the unborn. May hearts break and may we celebrate life. Let’s uphold the value, the dignity, and the potential of every life.” 
 
Democrats cited the new Texas bill that prevents abortion after a heartbeat is heard, as the reason for the House bill is needed. Even President Biden in his Statement of Administrative Policy in support of the bill cited the Texas law: 
 
“In the wake of Texas’ unprecedented attack, it has never been more important to codify this constitutional right and to strengthen health care access for all women, regardless of where they live…”
 
President Biden also construed access to the killing of unborn children with women’s equality stating, “Our daughters and granddaughters deserve the same rights that their mothers and grandmothers fought for and won—and that a clear majority of the American people support. We will not allow this country to go backwards on women’s equality.”
 
The bill passed by a vote of 218-211, with all but one Democrat, Rep Henry Cuellar of Texas, supporting it and no Republicans opposing the bill. Religious and pro-life leaders across the country strongly criticized the bill. “This deceptively named bill is the most extreme pro-abortion bill our nation has ever seen,” according to Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ pro-life committee. “H.R. 3755 is not about the health of women, but only about eliminating any and all protections for unborn children — including baby girls.” 
 
The Archbishop sent a letter to the House of Representatives stating, “As Pope Saint John Paul II observed, ‘At the center of the moral vision of [the American] founding documents is the recognition of the rights of the human person . . .’ The greatness of the United States lies ‘especially [in its] respect for the dignity and sanctity of human life in all conditions and at all stages of development.’ This bill, however, would catapult our nation further away from this greatness by legislatively enshrining the killing of defenseless, voiceless human beings. And as Pope Francis stated regarding unborn children, ‘Their killing in huge numbers, with the endorsement of States, is a serious problem that undermines the foundations of the construction of justice, compromising the proper solution of any other human and social issue.”
 
The bill now awaits possible consideration in the Senate where two Democrat senators, Manchin and Casey, have expressed their opposition.

Mexico: Supreme Court’s Rulings Against Life


Mexico’s Supreme Court has issued three rulings in support of the abortion agenda. The first was a unanimous decision to invalidate sections of a law in the northern state of Coahuila criminalizing abortion that included criminal sanctions for abortion providers. Pro-abortion activists are gleeful that the ruling will set a precedent and invalidate other states laws which criminalize abortion. 
 
Rodrigo Iván Cortés, president of the National Front for the Family (FNF) expressed the view of many in the Catholic country saying that "today Mexico is dressed in mourning". He stated, "The ministers of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation were not congruent and respectful of their own rulings, since the states of the country and their congresses enjoy, by constitutional mandate, freedom to legislate in areas of their competence and in matters not reserved for the Federation.”
 
The FNF also pointed out that the state laws in favor of the right to life “have a legal basis, recognized nationally and internationally and are protected in national treaties, conventions, and norms, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention American Convention on Human Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States itself”.
 
Two days later, the Supreme Court invalidated Article 4 of the Sinaloa Constitution, which reads that "the State protects the right to life from the moment an individual is conceived." Pro-life advocates are concerned that the decision puts similar life-begins-at-conception statements in the constitutions of 22 other Mexican states at risk and note that the Court only has the authority to invalidate regulations, not constitutional laws.
 
In a third ruling, the Supreme Court struck down a part of the country's health law that allowed medical personnel to refuse to carry out abortions on the grounds of conscientious objection. The court ruled that the law did not establish the guidelines and limits necessary for doctors and nurses to exercise conscientious objection without jeopardizing patients' rights.
 
Marcial Padilla, of the prolife platform Con Participación, said that the Supreme Court in its ruling put conscientious objection “in suspense” explaining that it did so because “it does not like how it is formulated, because it prevents the realization of abortion, according to the terms that they wish.”
 
Mexican medical associations had written the Court stressing that conscientious objection is a fundamental human right recognized in various national and international documents such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They stated, “The doctor is a professional of science and conscience, who cannot be reduced to a mere instrument of the will of the patient, since like the patient, he is a free and responsible person, with a unique collection of values ​​that regulate his life.”
 
Elective abortion is legal up to 12 weeks of pregnancy in Mexico City and the states of Hidalgo, Oaxaca, and Veracruz. Abortion is illegal in the rest of the country in most cases with exceptions for rape and the life of the mother. 

PP Global Details Its Work in Ecuador


Planned Parenthood Global, the international outreach of the abortion industry giant Planned Parenthood Federation of America, is celebrating 50 years of operation and details the pro-abortion activism in Ecuador that worked to achieve the Supreme Court ruling that criminalizing abortion in the case of rape was unconstitutional. PP Global calls it an “historic achievement to advance access to abortion” and details the strategies employed during the past five years in the report It’s Legal! The Decriminalization of Abortion in Cases of Rape in Ecuador.
 
The document is intended to “promote the hard-won achievements and lessons learned from the women’s and feminist organizations working on incremental changes to promote the recognition of reproductive rights.”
 
Legislators were the #1 target in the advocacy effort which included having to overcome their religious convictions: “To have an impact on individual and party positions, raising awareness and using accurate and scientific data to overcome religious convictions and also elevate the technical debate in the legislature, especially in the vote to achieve the approval of the Criminal Code reforms on abortion, while ensuring that authorities from different levels of the government could access quality information.”
 
Pro-abortion activists strategically “aimed to help legislators overcome their personal and religious biases in favor of the SRR of girls and women in the country, and to assume a favorable position in support of decriminalizing abortion in cases of rape” and held “work sessions, workshops, one-on-one meetings with assembly members, and meetings with advisors and members of legislative blocs” to achieve this goal.
 
The four targets for pro-abortion advocacy were legislators; the Constitutional Court; mass media and alternative media journalists; and social movements and collectives.
 
PNCI highly recommends pro-life advocates read the report so they can be better equipped to protect pro-life laws and policies. Planned Parenthood Global is active in Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Burkina Faso, Kenya, Senegal and Uganda.
 
Read more here.

Belgium to Fund Abortions for Polish Women


The Belgian government announced that it “will provide financial support for women who are forced to make the trip from Poland to another country to have their pregnancy terminated” by contributing to the Abortion Support Network for its Abortion Without Borders initiative that "provides information, practical support and funding to people in Poland who need abortions, in Poland or abroad”.
 
Sarah Schlitz, the Belgian junior minister for Gender Equality explained the decision:
Access to abortion is a fundamental right that must be ensured by every democratic state. It allows women to own their own bodies, protect their health, and not be forced to give up life opportunities. When a state fails to protect its citizens, civil society must step in. As the Polish government tacitly accepts that Polish women go abroad to access the services they should be entitled to at home, access to abortion becomes even more of a financial issue. It is for this reason that with my colleague Frank Vandenbroucke, Minister of Health, we have taken the decision to send a strong signal by supporting Abortion Support Network, which helps Polish women financially and logistically who wish to have an abortion in another European country. The grant we are providing will cover the costs of having an abortion in another European country for women who cannot afford it.

The Abortion Support Network states that it also “supports people resident in the Republic of Ireland, Malta, and Gibraltar who seek abortions abroad”.
Defending Life

Pope Francis Denounces Abortion and Euthanasia


Pope Francis again spoke out against abortion in an address to the Pontifical Academy for Life during which he also decried euthanasia calling both the results of today’s “throwaway culture”. The Pope said, “There is the discarding of children that we do not want to welcome with the law of abortion that sends them to the dispatcher and kills them directly. And today this has become a ‘normal’ method, a practice that is very ugly. It is really murder.”
 
He continued, “Is it right to eliminate, to take a human life to solve a problem? Is it right to hire a hitman to solve a problem? That’s what abortion is.” Pope Francis also spoke against the impact on the elderly who are viewed as “waste material” and “of no use” in today’s throwaway culture but who according to the pope are “wisdom” and “the roots of wisdom of our civilization” in a civilization that “discards them.”
 
He lamented what he called the law of ‘hidden euthanasia’ which he described as happening when people say, “Medications are expensive, only half of them are needed”, which leads to the shortening the life of the elderly.

Both abortion and euthanasia “deny hope” according to Pope Francis and negate “the hope of children who bring us the life that keeps us going and the hope that is in the roots that the elderly give us.” He cautioned that “This is a road on which we cannot go: the road of discarding”, and that it is not a path for Catholic universities or hospitals to follow.

El Salvador's President Vows No Change to Abortion Laws


El Salvador’s president, Nayib Bukele, reassured the country that a series of constitutional reforms the government will soon send to Congress will not include decriminalizing abortions, legalizing same-sex marriage or steps to allow euthanasia. He posted on his Facebook account:
 
“I have decided to remove any doubt, not to propose any kind of reform to anything related to the right to life (from the moment of conception), to marriage (only with the original design, a man and a woman) or to euthanasia. 
 
“You guys have known me for many years and you know I wouldn't propose any of those things, however much international pressures I have.
 
“And although I did not participate in the creation of this constitutional reform project, now that it is already in my hands, I have to review, consult and modify it, before sending it to the deputies for their study.”
 
Seventy-five pro-life and pro-family organizations had petitioned President Bukele, to oppose the changes to the constitution promoted by his vice president, Félix Ulloa. The organizations explained that the reform contains proposals that are "attacks against the right to life, the family and freedom, inasmuch as they impose an ideological agenda contrary to the values and cultural identity of Salvadorans.” 
 
The Archbishop of San Salvador, Mons. José Luis Escobar Alas, who is also president of the Salvadoran bishops’ conference, thanked the president for the commitment he has expressed not to amend those articles of the Political Constitution relating to respect for human life from its conception to the final phase of human existence, in a natural way.” He also thanked Bukele "for his commitment not to approve euthanasia, as well as his commitment to defend respect for marriage as a bond established by God between a man and a woman."

Brazil: Minister Rejects Push for Telemed Abortions


Brazil’s Minister of Women, Family and Human Rights Damares Alves harejected a recommendation to permit telemed abortions. A request from the National Human Rights Council (CNDH)- ‘Recommendation No. 29’- had asked the minister make abortion available through telemedicine. The minister responded to the recommendation stating that "abortion is not recognized as a human right" and that the council's recommendation "puts women's lives at risk." Minister Alves pointed out that "abortion is not recognized as a human right, neither in the provisions of the Federal Constitution, nor in the international order," and that instead Brazil’s constitution protects the right to life. 

China Hopes to Reduce Abortions


China appears to be responding to the country’s declining birthrate by initiating changes to reduce the number of abortions for non-medical reasons and to provide more support to women to raise children. The State Council released new guidelines that range from reducing abortions to increasing women’s access to nutrition, education, employment and to higher-ranking posts in the government. Census data showed that China’s birthrate reached its lowest point since the 1950s and that its population could peak at 1.45 billion by 2030 with fewer women due to the previous one-child per couple policy coupled with prenatal sex-determination and sex-selection abortion.
 
The State Council’s guidelines on abortion mark a sharp reversal to the years when many women were forced to end the lives of their unborn children. It was reported
that beginning in 2018, China enacted measures aimed at preventing sex-selective abortions and health authorities warned that the use of abortion to end unwanted pregnancies was harmful to women's bodies and a risk to fertility. 
 
Yi Fuxian, author of Big Country with an Empty Nest, believes that the announcement is “part of Beijing's aim of reducing premarital pregnancies or unwanted pregnancies among underage women.”
 
The senior scientist in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison said about abortion in China, "Abortion is as casual as dining out. Both formal and informal hospitals dare to provide the service. The whole social atmosphere is full of contempt for life and disregard for the health of pregnant women.”
 
"Now that the population policy has begun to change and is gradually shifting from 'treating the population as a burden' to 'respecting life', abortion is bound to be regulated and not treated as a trifling matter, as it was in the past."

Russia: Plan to Reduce the Abortion Rate


Russia has approved new measures aimed at reducing the abortion rate by half by 2025 according to news reports based on the “government's latest long-term blueprint for improving the demographic situation in the country through 2025, amid a recently resumed decline in population growth after a decade of sluggish but stable increases.” The government plan also seeks to reduce infant and maternal mortality.
 
According to the official document, pregnant women considering abortion will have greater access to “legal, psychological, and medical assistance” with the goal of ensuring that 80 percent of women considering an abortion “undergo consultations with a doctor, with a focus on increasing the likelihood that they reject the procedure”.  Pro-abortion activists have been critical of the blueprint and its focus on "strengthening traditional family values".
 
President Putin has made improving Russia's demography a key pillar of his presidency and said in his state-of-the-nation address in January 2020: "Exiting this demographic trap is our historical duty. The preservation and growth of our nation is the highest national priority." 
 
He is backing the plans to discourage Russian women from having abortions and stated, "Simply convincing a woman not to have an abortion is obviously important, but what’s more important is creating conditions to help the woman and her family in raising the child, placing the child on its feet, and giving the child the possibility to receive a decent education.”

In March, Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said that the number of abortions in Russia had declined by 39 percent since 2016. 
Legislative News

Ireland: Bill to Criminalize Pro-Life Activity Outside Abortion Clinics


A new private member’s bill would make it a crime to participate in a peaceful pro-life protest outside an abortion facility in Northern Ireland. Sponsored by Clare Bailey, leader of the NI Green Party and Assembly Member for South Belfast, the “Abortion Services (Safe Access Zones)” Bill would create “exclusion zones” around abortion centers. The law, supported by the Green Party, Sinn Fein, SDLP and Alliance Party, would essentially “…make it a crime to do anything… “outside an abortion centre”…which might influence a person in their decision.” The intent of the legislation is to criminalize pro-lifers who protest, offer counsel, or pray outside a facility. Pro-life groups have protested the bill, arguing it violates the constitutionally protected rights to free speech and assembly. Precious Life slammed the legislation, urging citizens to contact their MPs and vowing it would continue to hold pro-life vigils to offer help and life-giving choices to pregnant women. 

UK: MPs Warned Not to Legalize Euthanasia


Doctors from several countries warned UK MPs about the dangers of legalizing assisted suicide. The UK’s All-Party Parliamentary Group for Dying Well hosted the forum which heard from physicians from Belgium, Canada, and Oregon, which all have legalized euthanasia. The doctors agreed that the instituted safeguards have failed and instead, assisted suicide has become more of the norm rather than the exception. Patients now feel pressure to end their life so as to not be a burden, and out of fear and anxiety. In Belgium, the top reason for euthanasia is psychological and social suffering, not pain. “Beware that once the door for assisted suicide and euthanasia opens, it will always open more, that is the way it has gone in Belgium and in all the countries without exception where euthanasia has been legalised. You would be deluding yourself if you imagined that it would be any different in the UK,” said Professor Timothy Devos of the Leuven University Hospital Belgium.  

AU: MPs in Queensland Legalize Assisted Suicide


The parliament of Queensland passed legislation to legalize euthanasia after two days of impassioned debate. The Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill (VAD) will permit assisted suicide for people facing an advanced terminal illness who are expected to die within a year, are of sound mind, and are not being coerced. MPs failed to pass any of the 54 amendments proposed, which included notice of palliative care options and conscience protections for faith-based institutions, so they will not be forced to allow assisted suicide if a patient is unable to be moved elsewhere. The bill passed by a vote of 61-30. “The die is cast and across the Rubicon we go: some kind of victory for the government but a real defeat for Queensland, a victory for death but a defeat for life…now we await the dark spectacle of unexpected consequences,” Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge tweeted after the vote.   

San Marino: National Referendum Approves Abortion


The Republic of San Marino has voted to legalize abortion in a national referendum. 77% of voters in the small nation approved the measure, which will permit abortion on demand for the first trimester, and later in cases of fetal anomaly or health of the mother. The bishop of San Marino lamented the vote and urged support for women to find alternatives to abortion. “The growth rate of a society, we believe, is not measured so much by economics, but by respect for the rights of all, starting with the fragile, defenseless and unborn,” said Bishop Andrea Turazzi. 

Spain: Parliament Advances Criminalization of Abortion Clinic Vigils


Spain’s Congress of Deputies has voted to advance a bill that would criminalize pro-life protests and vigils outside abortion facilities. The bill would criminalize “harassing women going to clinics for the voluntary interruption of pregnancy.” Violators would be subject to penalties, jail time or community service. The bill, sponsored by the ruling Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party, was opposed by the People’s Party and Vox. Members criticized the bill for being unconstitutional and as the bidding of abortion activists. “You want to prohibit the right of assembly or free speech where and by whom you don’t like,” said María Teresa Angulo Romero of the People’s Party. Penalizing "fundamental rights such as freedom of speech or assembly because what underlies is a sectarian limitation of rights because of the ideas of those who exercise them,” she said. 
Judicial News

UK: High Court Rejects Challenge to Abortion Law


The United Kingdom’s High Court rejected a challenge to the UK’s law permitting the abortion of unborn babies with Down syndrome up to birth. The case, brought by Heidi Crowter, a young woman with Down syndrome, and Máire Lea-Wilson, whose son has Down syndrome, argued that the UK’s abortion law discriminates against the disabled. The Abortion Act of 1967 allows abortion up to birth when “there is a substantial risk that if the child were born it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped.” Crowter pointed out that she and other persons with Down syndrome “are not suffering” and said the law discriminated against them. “People with Down syndrome face discrimination in all aspects of life,” said Lea-Wilson. “This ruling condones discrimination by cementing the belief in society that their lives are not as valuable as the lives of people without disabilities.” 

Guam: Federal Court Rules to Permit Telemed Abortions


A federal court in Hawaii has issued a preliminary injunction opening the door for abortions via telemedicine in Guam. The injunction blocks a policy requiring patients seeking abortion to meet with their doctor and receive information before an abortion. The case, filed by the ACLU, would permit women to have abortions at home through telemed appointments and abortion drugs. Archdiocese of Agana Archbishop Michael Byrnes lamented the ruling, calling it a setback for the pro-life country. “We must persist in defending the lives of our unborn. Pray fervently, speak up, push for pro-life legislation and join voices and efforts together,” he urged. Guam’s attorney general and the Guam Medical Board of Examiners are appealing the ruling.  

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

In this issue

 

Focus on the United Nations

Sex Abuse and Coerced Abortion by WHO Employees
UN “Experts” Show Pro-Abortion Activist Allegiance
UN Women’s Feminist Plan Beyond COVID Includes Abortion
3 Philanthropies Pledge $700 Million to Generation Equality 
 
International Pressure for Abortion
U.S.: Democrats in the House Approve Radical Abortion Law 
Mexico: Supreme Court’s Rulings Against Life 
PP Global Details Its Work in Ecuador 
Belgium to Fund Abortions for Polish Women 
 
Defending Life
Pope Francis Denounces Abortion and Euthanasia
El Salvador's President Vows No Change to Abortion Laws
Brazilian Minister Rejects Push for Telemed Abortions
China Hopes to Reduce Abortions 
Russia Announces Plan to Halve Abortion Rates
 
Legislative News
Ireland: Bill to Criminalize Pro-Life Activity Outside Abortion Clinics
UK: MPs Warned Not to Legalize Euthanasia
AU: MPs in Queensland Legalize Assisted Suicide
San Marino: National Referendum Approves Abortion
Spain: Parliament Advances Criminalization of Abortion Clinic Vigils
 
Judicial News
UK: High Court Rejects Challenge to Abortion Law  
Guam: Court Rules to Permit Telemed Abortions