Parliamentary Network E-News

Volume 14
No. 6
September, 2020
Focus on the U.S.

Biden's “Build Back Better”—Deadly for Unborn Babies

Joe Biden's campaign slogan and policy agenda for president of the United States, “build back better”, includes unprecedented abortion extremism . "Build back better" is also a term pro-abortion groups and activists are using in an attempt to advance access to abortion as countries recover from the pandemic.
The term “build back better” (BBB) is not new. It is a post-disaster recovery term that has been used at the United Nations since it appeared in 2006 following the Indian Ocean tsunami recovery report issued by former President Bill Clinton who served as the UN’s Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery. Key Propositions for Building Back Better outlined how to “build back better” for recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction following disasters; the programs apply to all aspects of recovery including health.
Pro-abortion organizations and activists see build back better as an opportunity to recognize abortion as an “essential service” and to promote an extreme pro-abortion agenda that includes easy access to dangerous abortion-inducing drugs for use at home as countries move to address health system failures and make improvements during COVID-19 recovery.
Global abortion industry giant, Marie Stopes International, (MSI) in its response to COVD-19 explains that it is working to “ensure that we build back better” by acting in many countries to convince governments to classify abortion as an “essential service” and include it the “basic package of services.” It is also working to export its work in the UK advancing telemedicine for abortion and the ability for women to obtain and take abortion-inducing drugs at home.
Guttmacher Institute declares in Covid-19 threatens to unravel years of progress on reproductive health and rights that BBB includes providing for greater access to abortion through telemedicine and drugs for self-induced abortion at home, described as “newer models of care”. It states that “the global recovery effort must include a focus on building back better” and calls on governments to provide for health systems that “ensure that the full range of sexual and reproductive health services, including abortion services, remain accessible to people seeking them.”
A glance at Joe Biden’s extreme pro-abortion policies demonstrates that his concept of “build back better” closely aligns with these and other pro-abortion organizations. Build back better is not only bad for unborn babies, it is deadly.

Candidates and Parties--Polarized on Abortion as Never Before

The US presidential and congressional elections are in full swing and the risks for the unborn have never been more menacing. The Democratic Party platformunder the leadership of presidential candidate Joe Biden, is the most extreme pro-abortion yet, supporting federally funded abortions up to birth, opposing restrictions on dangerous abortion-inducing drugs, vowing to oppose and fight federal and state laws “that create barriers to women’s reproductive health and rights”, and overturning President Trump's Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance policy.
Despite recommendations by pro-life Democrats, the platform calls for a “repeal of the Hyde Amendment” and the codification of “the right to reproductive freedom”. The Democratic Party has abandoned its previous position of making abortions “rare” and completely ignores the conscience rights of medical personnel.   
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has voiced support for removing the Hyde Amendment
from funding bills if Democrats maintain control of the House resulting in the abandonment of a 40-year compromise between Democratic and Republican Members of the House to not use taxpayer dollars to pay for abortion.
President Trump and the Republican Party remain committed to protecting the lives of unborn children, preserving the Hyde Amendment and stopping federal funding for abortion. President Trump’s core priorities for a second term-- “Fighting For You!”--includes a commitment to “Protect unborn life through every means available.” The Republican Party platform specifically supports bans on abortions at 20 weeks, abortions based on sex or handicap, and on dismemberment abortions. It calls for abortion clinic safety regulations, an end to experimentation on human embryos, and an end of taxpayer dollars for abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood.   

President Reaffirms Pro-Life Commitment

President Trump sent a letter to the pro-life movement reaffirming his commitment to defend the unborn and listing the pro-life accomplishments of his first term that he attributed to working together “for unborn children and their mothers”. 
He pledged that if reelected he would work to continue appointing judges who respect the Constitution and “not legislate an abortion agenda from the bench”; work to pass legislation to end abortions of unborn babieswho can feel pain in the womb; prohibit taxpayer funds for abortion; ensure that babies who survive an abortion receive medical care; and “fully defund the big abortion industry such as Planned Parenthood of our tax dollars”. 
He asked the pro-life movement to help contrast his “bold pro-life leadership” with Joe Biden’s extremism and urged “every pro-life American” to do their part to “defeat abortion extremism this November” and “score a major, historic victory for unborn children and their mothers”. 

What Pro-Abortion Organizations Expect from a Biden Administration

Pro-abortion Organizations supporting the Biden-Harris ticket have issued a list of demands that want to be enacted under a Biden administration: First Priorities: Executive and Agency Actions Blueprint for Sexual and Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice. Described as “a detailed punch list of executive and agency actions for the opening days of an incoming administration”, the 90 pro-abortion organizations issuing the Blueprint— including the ACLU, Guttmacher Institute, Human Rights Watch, NARAL Pro-Choice America, National Abortion Federation, and Planned Parenthood Federation of America— seek to overturn President Trump’s domestic and foreign pro-life policies.
They demand that on day one Biden expresses through an executive order his commitment to abortion in the U.S and around the world and revokes President Trump’s Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance policy, previously known as the Mexico City Policy. Their demands include that Biden declares his opposition to laws against abortion by stating that “politicians have interfered with personal decision-making and bodily autonomy by passing harmful laws and regulations that restrict access to care both domestically and around the world.”
The extensive list of demanded actions for the first 45 days includes ending the Hyde Amendment; rescinding agency regulations in regards to abortion including for conscience protection; undoing the executive order Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty; ensuring that the State Department champions ”sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) at UN meetings and multilateral forums, including by adopting and advancing comprehensive definitions of SRHR and comprehensive sex education”. They seek changes to long-standing pro-life policies regarding foreign assistance enacted by Congress including modifying the Siljander Amendment “to only prohibit the use of U.S. funds to lobby against abortion”, currently it prohibits any lobbying on abortion—pro or con.
It is highly likely given the close relationships of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris with these organizations, that their demands will be implemented early in a Biden administration.

President Trump- Saving Lives Before and After Birth

The second review of the Trump administration’s Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance (PLGHA) Policy details the U.S. commitment to protect all lives around the world, born and unborn, as the world’s largest health donor country with total global health funding for this year of $11.2 billion. PLGHA prevents American taxpayers’ dollar from funding abortion-performing or abortion-promoting international organizations.
The review reveals that two of the largest performers of abortion in the world—International Planned Parenthood (IPPF) and Marie Stopes International (MSI)—refused to comply with the pro-life policy and no longer receive U.S. funding. IPPF states a loss of $100,000,000 in U.S. funding as a result of the PLGHA policy.
They were joined by only six other prime awardees for U.S. health grants in refusing to abide by the U.S. pro-life policy and declining U.S. grant money out of a total of 1,340 total prime awardees. 98.8% of USAID prime global health awards accepted the no abortion performance or promotion terms of PLGHA.
A number of affiliates of IPPF and MSI operating in Sub-Saharan Africa, sub-grantees of U.S. assistance, also declined to accept the terms of the Policy choosing the destruction of life over U.S. funding.
The report reveals that the pro-life words of President Trump—as delivered to the UN General Assembly last year—are matched by pro-life actions. President Trump said, Americans will also never tire of defending innocent life…we in America believe that every child — born and unborn — is a sacred gift from God.”
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Pro-Life Chairman
Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City issued a statement praising the Trump administration following the release of the report.
 “The Trump Administration deserves our praise for ensuring that U.S. global health assistance funding actually promotes health and human rights, and doesn’t undermine them by promoting abortion,” said Archbishop Naumann.
He continued, “Killing innocent and defenseless unborn children through abortion is not health care. Abortion violates an unborn child’s most basic human right, the right to life, and it also can wound the mother emotionally and physically. Americans recognize this injustice and an overwhelming majority of them oppose giving tax dollars to organizations that are more committed to promoting abortion than providing health services.”

Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance Expansion

A proposal was announced in the US Federal Register to expand President Trump’s Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance (PLGHA) policy to include all new and existing contracts and sub-contracts funded through global health assistance between the US and international non-governmental organizations, previously it had only applied to grants and cooperative agreements.
The Defense Department, the General Services Administration, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration proposed the rule to expand implementation of Presidential Memorandum regarding “The Mexico City Policy,” dated January 23, 2017 by inclusion of the new clause “Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance”.
The purpose of the change to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) is to ensure “No U.S. taxpayer money should support foreign organizations that perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations.”
President Trump exercised his broad discretion to set the terms and conditions of U.S. foreign assistance relating to global health programs by applying the PLGHA policy to contracts and sub-contracts with foreign contractors. They must agree that “(1) they will not perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning, or (2) provide financial support to any other foreign nongovernmental organization that conduct such activities.”
The rule applies to foreign contractors who provide supplies or services for international health activities performed partially or wholly outside the United States. U.S. contractors are not themselves subject to the PLGHA policy but they are required to apply the PLGHA requirements to any foreign contractor with whom they subcontract, where applicable.
Written comments on the proposed rule can be submitted on or before November 13, 2020.

Pro-Life Leaders Thank President Trump

Leaders of the pro-life movement in the US expressed their thanks and gratefulness to President Trump for his “constant support for the unborn and for those who work on their behalf”.
Their letter begins, “We the undersigned organizations, representing millions of Americans, wish to thank you for all you have done to protect the dignity of human life. As a candidate, on January 23, 2016, you stated, ‘Let me be clear – I am pro-life.’ As President, you have lived up to that statement in standing up for women and the unborn”. The letter lists the many pro-life actions taken by President Trump and his administration.

Funding withheld for Fetal Tissue Research

The board established by the Trump administration to review grant proposal for federal-funded fetal tissue research—Human Fetal Tissue Research Ethics Advisory Board of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) — issued a report recommending withholding funding for 13 out of the 14 research proposals submitted that would use fetal tissue (the body parts of aborted babies).
The U.S. bishops’ pro-life committee applauded the decision.
Archbishop Joseph Naumann, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, said: “We applaud the Administration for moving NIH in a direction that shows greater consideration for medical ethics in research, and greater respect for innocent human life. It is neither ethical nor necessary to further violate the bodies of aborted babies by commodifying them for use in medical research. The victims of abortion deserve the same respect as every other human person. We are grateful that the Administration is following through on its commitment to end federal funding of research using aborted fetal tissue.”
Focus on International Organizations

UN: US Pushes Back on UN Criticism of State Pro-Life Laws

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva Andrew Bremberg responded to what he called a “bizarre and inexplicable letter” sent to the US from a group of UN special procedures mandate holders “alleging U.S. impingement to an assumed ‘right to abortion’.” The letter from 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; and the Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women charged that the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Iowa, Ohio, Arkansas, Louisiana and Tennessee violated international law in their response to COVID-19 by not viewing abortion as “essential” health care.
They stated that “the above-mentioned states, with a long history of restrictive practices against abortion, seem to have been manipulating the crisis to severely restrict women’s reproductive rights.” The group urged the US to ensure “uninterrupted and timely access to the full range of abortion procedures, information and related services” not only during the pandemic but afterwards as well.
In his strong response, Ambassador Bremberg reminded them that there is no “right to abortion”:
“As United Nations human rights mandate holders, you are undoubtedly aware that international human rights law does not recognize any “right to abortion.” The United States is disappointed by and categorically rejects this transparent attempt to take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to assert the existence of such a right. This is a perversion of the human rights system and the founding principles of the United Nations.”
Ambassador Bremberg rightly called out the mandate holders for wasting time and resources “on such spurious allegations rather than focusing your energies on areas where your attention is most appropriate and warranted. For instance, the Chinese Communist Party is currently directing the use of forced abortion, forced sterilization and forced birth control in Xinjiang.”
Read more here.

UN Secretary General Assures NGOs of Abortion Support

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addressed NGOs during a virtual town hall in which he claimed that the global pandemic is reversing “progress on gender equality and women’s rights”. He stated that protecting the rights of women and girls during this time is a top priority for the UN and that their health is the first phase in recovery from COVID-19.
“Governments must take a holistic view of the health impact of this pandemic. All women have a right to quality, affordable sexual and reproductive health services. Governments have a responsibility to make sure women and girls can access these services, even during a crisis”, said Guterres.
As reported by C-fam, Guterres was asked in the question and answer session what the UN and his office were doing to fight back against efforts by the Trump administration to keep abortion out of the UN COVID-19 response. In response, Guterres mentioned his reports and actions to promote sexual and reproductive health, and abortion specifically, as essential during the COVID-19 pandemic.
His policy brief issued in April, COVID-19 and Human Rights: We are all in this together includes the concern about what is described as "limited access to sexual and reproductive health and rights". The brief includes recommending actions to "mitigate the impact of the crisis on women and girls, including on their access to sexual and reproductive health/rights". The controversial term--sexual and reproductive health/rights--is widely used to promote access to abortion as both a so-called reproductive and sexual right.

COE Commissioner--Slovak Lawmakers Should Reject Pro-Life Bill

The National Council of the Slovak Republic will soon vote on legislation to enact pro-life protections to the country’s abortion law which dates to communist rule in the 1950’s and allows abortion on demand for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. The Draft Law which Amends and Supplements Act No. 576/2004 Coll. of Laws on Healthcare, Healthcare-related Services contains amendments proposed by a coalition of MPs led by Anna Zaborska, president of the Christian Union (KÚ) and member of the OĽaNO party.
The legislation includes enacting reasonable measures to help to reduce the number of abortions such as extended waiting periods so a woman considering abortion can reflect on the information she is provided about abortion. It would require that she be given information on the economic, social, and psychological help she can obtain from the state or NGOs. If enacted, it would increase financial assistance to parents of children born with a disability and to all children at birth, not just the first three born to a family as is now the case. It would also prohibit advertising for abortion. 
Anna Záborská said that she is encouraged that the amendment’s chances are good, with the parliament having the highest number of conservative members it ever has. She also said they have the support of Prime Minister Matovič, who she said is “in favor of protecting life at every stage.” The amendments passed a second reading in parliament this summer and are expected to be voted on this week.
The legislation is being opposed by pro-abortion organizations and activists including by the Council of Europe’s (COE) Commissioner on Human Rights Dunja Mijatović who issued a letter to Speaker of the National Council of the Slovak Republic and to the Chairpersons of the Committees on Constitutional and Legal Affairs, Health Care and Social Affairs voicing opposition to the proposed pro-life legislation.
According to COE, Ms. Mijatović raises concerns about a draft law “which would introduce restrictions on access to safe and legal abortion services.”
Read more here.

Legislative News

Kenya: Pro-Lifers Put Hold on Abortion Bill

Pro-lifers in Kenya were successful in pausing a bill to legalize abortion, though it is expected to be revisited in three months. The legislation before parliament would permit abortion up to birth in cases of the health and life of the mother, which in practice translates to abortion on demand due to the subjective interpretation of “health”. The bill is currently under consideration in a Senate committee and then goes back to the Senate for a Third Reading. It would still need to pass the National Assembly.

Chris Wamalwa, MP for the Kiminini Constituency, criticized the bill for being “sponsored by [an] international organization”. Abortion provider Ipas has been a leading advocate for the changes in law, using a model previously used to bring abortion into pro-life countries. Article 26 of Kenya’s constitution recognizes that the right to life begins at conception and prohibits abortion except for serious threat to the mother's life or health.
Ella Duru, a pro-life advocate, explained the pro-abortion campaign: “This is a brazen attempt by Western abortion organisations to impose abortion, for any reason, up to birth on Kenya.” She said, “To have these well-funded overseas organisations spending lots of money to try and force abortion on Kenya when 87% believe it is morally unacceptable is a form of ideological colonialism.”  

France: Parliament Approves Allowing Abortion on Demand Up To Birth

The French National Assembly passed legislation that will permit abortion on demand up to birth. The approved amendment authorizes abortions for “psycho-social distress”. Current French law permits abortion for any reason up to 12 weeks gestation. The pro-life group Alliance VITA condemned the legislation: “It would obviate existing abortion laws, by attaching the unverifiable criterion of ‘psycho-social distress.’” The group also warned, “If the bill is passed into law, it would allow ‘medical abortions’ to be performed up until full-term pregnancy.” The amendment is now awaiting consideration by the Senate. 

Czech Republic: Government Again Rejects Euthanasia

The Czech government has rejected a bill to legalize euthanasia, the third time it has done so. Euthanasia is categorized as murder in the Czech Republic. The proposed legislation would have legalized assisted suicide for persons with terminal illnesses who do not want to receive palliative care. Opponents argued the bill did not contain safeguards against misuse and cautioned it is not consistent with the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms which states that everyone has the right to life. The bill was opposed by the Ministries of Health, Interior and Social Affairs, the Supreme Court, the Supreme Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Czech Bishops Conference and employers’ associations. Last year Czech Republic President Milos Zeman said he would veto any law legalizing euthanasia. 
Executive News

Italy: Health Minister Approves DIY Abortion Drug

Italy’s health minister Roberto Speranza has announced a new policy permitting abortion drugs to be used at home. The new policy designates the abortion-inducing pill mifepristone for outpatient use during the first nine weeks of pregnancy. Previous policy required women to be admitted into the hospital for drug-induced abortions. Conservative legislator Giorgia Meloni condemned the policy, saying women will be denied needed medical and psychological care and instead have to “experience a difficult and dangerous procedure in solitude.”

Argentina: Bill to Legalize Abortion Delayed until 2021

Argentina’s Cabinet Chief Santiago Cafiero has announced that the legislation to legalize abortion has been delayed until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. President Fernández had promised to legalize abortion upon assuming the presidency in March 2020, however, Santiago explained that the bill would be held until it could be debated properly in Congress and by the public. Some government officials claim the bill is ready. Abortion activists continue to push for the bill now and a recent social media campaign using the hashtag #AbortoLegal2020 called for the bill to be sent to parliament. 

South Korea: Ministry Drafting Recommendations to Legalize Abortion

South Korea’s Ministry of Justice has announced plans to legalize abortion. The move follows a 2019 Constitutional Court decision declaring the country’s pro-life law unconstitutional. The Court gave the parliament until the end of 2020 to enact a new law or the current law will be nullified. Korean law currently permits abortion in cases of rape and extreme risk to the mother’s health. The ministry said its policy recommendations would be available soon.

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Advancing global respect and dignity for life through law and policy.

In this Issue

Focus on the US
Biden's “Build Back Better”—Deadly for Unborn Babies
Candidates and Parties—Polarized on Abortion as Never Before 
President Reaffirms Pro-Life Commitment
What Pro-Abortion Organizations Expect from a Biden Administration
President Trump—Saving Lives Before and After Birth
Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance Expansion
Pro-Life Leaders Thank President Trump
Funding withheld for Fetal Tissue Research
International Organizations
US Pushes Back on UN Criticism of State Pro-Life Laws
UN Secretary General Assures NGOs of Abortion Support
COE Commissioner--Slovak Lawmakers Should Reject Pro-Life Bill
Legislative News
Kenya: Pro-Lifers Put Hold on Abortion Bill
France: Parliament Approves Allowing Abortion on Demand Up To Birth
Czech Republic: Government Again Rejects Euthanasia
Executive News
Italy: Health Minister Approves DIY Abortion Drug
Argentina: Bill to Legalize Abortion Delayed until 2021
South Korea: Ministry Drafting Recommendations to Legalize Abortion
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