Parliamentary Network E-News

Volume 15
No. 6
June, 2021
Focus on the United States

U.S. Commits to Advancing Abortion around the World

Vice President Kamala Harris was one of the opening speakers at UN Women’s Generation Equality Forum taking place in Paris and virtually. She called for women to “have access to reproductive healthcare” and said that “we must fight for gender equality”. 
The White House issued a detailed statement of commitments to the Forum stating that: “The Biden Administration is committed to advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights in the U.S. and around the world.”
Under that premise, the White House committed that it would “Protect and advance sexual and reproductive health and rights” as one of its three areas of focus. The commitments were said to “reflect the Biden-Harris Administration’s domestic and global priorities” to which it would commit “policies and resources.” 
At no point does the Biden White House use the word “abortion” in its commitments on reproductive health, including while writing about a policy centered on funding for abortion.
Under the banner of “International efforts to protect and expand sexual and reproductive health and rights” the White House noted the Presidential Memorandum issued on January 28, 2021 stated Biden’s intent “to protect and expand access to comprehensive reproductive health services and care”, which included rescinding the Mexico City Policy which prevented U.S. funds from going to international organizations that perform or promote abortion. Again, the word “abortion” is not mentioned.
Imitating an action taken by the Trump administration to unite countries on protection of life and family, the Biden administration highlighted that it will:
“Commit publicly with like-minded countries to a series of progressive meetings on continuing and expanding essential sexual and reproductive health service delivery on the margins of WHA and WHO regional committees, the UN General Assembly, World Economic Forum, and World Bank fall meetings, among others.”
Translation: the Biden administration will use its influence in international venues to expand access to abortion around the world.
The Forum is intended to secure commitments, especially financial and political commitments from governments and financial support from donors, for a “five-year journey designed to accelerate gender equality and a turning point in the international community’s commitment towards women’s rights.” 
A Global Acceleration Plan for Gender Equality was launched at the Forum driven by six Action Coalitions, one of which is the Bodily Autonomy and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Action Coalition headed by UNFPA and pro-abortion NGOs including International Planned Parenthood Federation.  
The Plan includes a collective commitment on Bodily Autonomy and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights which states: “Expanding access to safe abortion for all people who can become pregnant by influencing change in national legislation in as many countries as possible to ensure that abortion is decriminalized and that legal and policy barriers to abortion, including to self-managed abortion, are removed.”
The ultimate goal of Generation Equality Forum is to “support removal of restrictive policies and legal barriers, ensuring 50 million more adolescent girls and women live in jurisdictions where they can access safe and legal abortion by 2026.” 
UN Women announced that it expects Generation Equality Forum will “drive major policy reforms” and it expects it to generate over 40 billion dollars in new investments.
According to Reuters, “Melinda Gates said the Gates Foundation would direct $2.1 billion in new money to strengthening gender equality. More than half would go to sexual health and reproductive rights, while $100 million would be spent on helping get women into positions of power in government and the workplace.”
It is tragic that Generation Equality Forum seeks the destruction of members of the next generation in the guise of obtaining a distorted version of equality for themselves.
Read more here.

President Biden and Democrats Act to Fund the Death of Unborn Children

Congress has begun hearings on the Biden Budget and other funding bills that remove abortion funding restrictions and bans affecting domestic and international funding. The House Committee on Appropriations passed by a voice vote the 2022 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Funding Bill which eliminated the long-standing Helms amendment preventing the use of U.S. foreign assistance funds for the death of unborn children as a method of family planning in global health programs. 
The bill incorporates the Global Health, Empowerment and Rights Act (Global HER Actwhich would prevent future administrations from being able to deny U.S. funding to international organizations that perform or promote abortion. Under President Trump, the policy was changed from the Mexico City Policy to an expanded version called the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance Policy. No future president could enact such a policy according to the text of the Global HER Act.
Also excluded from the budget, is the Kemp-Kasten Amendment which barred U.S. funds to any organization the president determines supports or participates in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization. The bill also funds abortion on demand in the Peace Corps and doubles the funding to United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) which had previously been denied U.S. funding due to its complicity in China’s coercive birth limitation policy.
The House Committee on Appropriations also marked-up the Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) bill and removed 30-year-old bipartisan provisions preventing taxpayer funds from being used to pay for abortions in the District of Columbia (Dornan amendment) and for federal employee health plans that cover abortions (Smith amendment).
Prior to the two mark-ups, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee of Pro-Life Activities, and Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on International Justice and Peace, issued the following statement:
“The U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Appropriations should not eliminate the long-standing, bipartisan provisions that prevent taxpayer funding of abortions. The FSGG bill that currently excludes the Dornan and Smith Amendments would force taxpayers to fund abortions in the District of Columbia and within the Federal Employees Health Benefit program. Deletion of the Helms Amendment in the SFOPs bill would force taxpayers to fund abortions throughout the world, running contrary to principles of integral human development. The Appropriations Committee must re-insert these provisions, and retain all life-saving, Hyde-related provisions across the various appropriations bills. 
“The prohibition on taxpayer funding of elective abortion is a consensus policy that is supported by a majority of Americans - including low-income women, and women of color. I call on the Appropriations Committee and all members of Congress to protect taxpayers from having to pay for the evil of abortion, and to instead use our tax dollars for the common good and welfare of all.”
President Biden’s budget did not include the bipartisan agreement known as the Hyde amendment to prevent the use of taxpayers’ money for abortion. First enacted into law in 1976, the Hyde amendment to the Labor, Health and Human Services (LHHS) Appropriations bill bars federal funding of elective abortions in Medicaid, except in cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is at stake. While not permanent law, the Hyde amendment has enjoyed bipartisan agreement and been attached to budget bills.
According to a recent poll, 77% of Americans oppose the use of U.S. tax dollars to fund abortions overseas, and 58% of Americans oppose U.S. taxpayer funding of abortions domestically. Those majorities include 55% of Democrats who oppose international funding of abortion, and 31% of Democrats who oppose domestic funding of abortion.

Bill to Eliminate State Laws on Abortion Advances

A bill that would eviscerate hundreds of current state laws on abortion and prohibit future actions by states on abortion was introduced in the House and Senate. The “Women’s Health Protection Act” (WHPA) S.1975 was introduced by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) with 49 cosponsors and in the House by Representatives Judy Chu (D-CA), Lois Frankel (D-FL), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and Veronica Escobar (D-TX) with 176 cosponsors. 
The bill’s findings state: 1) “Abortion services are essential health care and access to those services is central to people’s ability to participate equally in the economic and social life of the United States.”
The findings also equate pro-life laws restricting abortion to ‘systems of oppression’, white supremacy, and racism: “5) Reproductive justice seeks to address restrictions on reproductive health, including abortion, that perpetuate systems of oppression, lack of bodily autonomy, white supremacy, and anti-Black racism.” 
Senator Blumenthal held a hearing on the WHPA in the Senate Judiciary subcommittee he chairs on the Constitution.
His account tweeted the announcement: Richard Blumenthal@SenBlumenthal--"TUNE IN: As extremist state lawmakers attack reproductive rights across the nation, the Women’s Health Protection Act has never been more urgent or more necessary. We must ensure that access to safe, legal abortion care is protected at the federal level.”
The Center for Reproductive Rights answers the question ‘why is the bill needed now?’:
“Politicians have passed nearly 500 state laws restricting abortion access over the past decade. These restrictions have eliminated access to abortion care in large swaths of the United States. Nearly 90 percent of U.S. counties are without a single abortion provider and five states are down to their last clinic…” 
Catherine Glenn Foster, President and CEO of Americans United for Life, testified in opposition to the bill.
Her testimony included:
“The Women’s Health Protection Act would effectively ban all lifesaving, state protections for women considering abortion, and for our youngest preborn children, including those upheld as constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, for women considering abortion, for children before viability, and even for many late-term viable children. These include protections for women and children from dangerous and painful late-term abortion, laws that prevent children from being eugenically aborted because they may have Down syndrome, and laws guaranteeing that children born alive during an abortion are provided basic medical care.
Informed consent standards, gone. Health and safety standards, gone. As a legal and constitutional expert, I can say that this misguided bill would invalidate hundreds of constitutionally sound state laws that have been debated, passed, and enacted in states from coast to coast in an effort to protect America’s youngest citizens.”

House Republicans Denied Vote on ‘No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act’

Pro-life Republicans are requesting a vote on H.R.18-- the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2021— sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), co-chair of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus. In an initiative called “Eighteen Days for HR 18,” Members are requesting that the bill be considered for a vote every legislative day between July 22 and August Recess. 
In his remarks, Rep. Smith stated, “Years ago, then Senator Biden wrote to constituents explaining his support for the Hyde amendment and said it would ‘protect both the woman and her unborn child…’ He said: ‘I have consistently—on no fewer than 50 occasions—voted against federal funding of abortions…those of us who are opposed to abortion should not be compelled to pay for them.’ I totally agree.”
The Smith bill would make permanent and government-wide the Hyde amendment which prevents taxpayer dollars from being used to fund elective abortions and has been renewed on a bipartisan basis since 1976, saving over 2.4 million lives. 
House Republican Leadership and the four Chairs of the House Pro-Life Caucus used the legislative process known as Unanimous Consent (UC) on the House floor for consideration of the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act on day 1. Their requests were denied.
Video clips of House Republican Leadership and the Chairs of the Pro-Life Caucus can be viewed at the following links: Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA)Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-NY)Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ)Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD)Rep. Michelle Fischbach (R-MN)Rep. Kat Cammack (R-FL)
A coalition of 22 state attorney generals are also pushing back on President Biden’s efforts to fund abortions with taxpayer money. Led by Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, they have written to House and Senate leaders—House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell— asking that they keep the Hyde Amendment in the federal budget:
“The decision by President Biden to reject the Hyde Amendment and attempt to force states to fund activity that is violative of their own laws and policies is an affront to state sovereignty. … Congress should resist following President Biden down this path and should instead maintain the Hyde Amendment language in the budget it ultimately passes.”
“Fighting for the freedom of conscience has been a hallmark of state attorneys general. We have a unique interest in the Hyde Amendment as an important protection for the consciences of the millions of Americans who oppose public funding of abortion”, they wrote.

U.S.: Legislation Would Prohibit Human-Animal Hybrids for Research

New legislation seeks to prohibit the creation of human-animal hybrids for the purpose of research. The Human-Animal Chimera Prohibition, H.R. 3542 in the House of Representatives and S. 1800 in the Senate, would ban research involving human-animal chimeras “that blur human-animal species distinctions.” A recent decision by the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) called for the lifting of “the 14-day” rule, a 40-year-old statute that prohibited the culturing of human embryos past 14 days.
The ISSCR also lifted restrictions on the creation of and experimentation on animal-human chimeras, created by injecting embryos with cells from animal. 
“The ISSCR has shown an utter disregard for the value and dignity of human life,” said House bill sponsor Rep Chris Smith. Smith explained the new legislation would create a ban on unethical practices, critically needed now that “the ISSCR has now removed all restraint, allowing unborn humans at any stage of development to be experimented on, manipulated and destroyed.” Senate bill sponsor Mike Braun said he “will continue to fight for bioethics restrictions that protect human and animal life from unethical experimentation.” Smith and Braun and 32 additional lawmakers sent a letter urging President Biden to maintain its stance against the ISSCR’s new guidelines. 
International Pressure for Abortion

European Parliament Approves Two Extreme Pro-Abortion Resolutions

The European Parliament voted 378 to 255 with 42 abstentions in favor of a resolution on the radical and extreme ‘Matić Report on the situation of sexual and reproductive health and rights in the EU, in the frame of women’s health’. 
The report mentions a so-called "right to abortion" and calls on EU Member States to change laws to allow access to abortion—an action that not only conflicts with EU law but has no basis in international law. Debate in the Parliament followed committee debate last month during which abortion was the most contentious issue as it was during the parliamentary session.
Following the vote, MEP Fred Matić tweeted, “We did it! The European Parliament adopted my report on sexual and reproductive health and women's rights by 378 votes. Finally, we have a clear position - everyone must have access to contraception, medically assisted reproduction, abortion and other health services!”
In another vote, the European Parliament approved another radically pro-abortion resolution on the 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD25) (Nairobi Summit). In the 444-182 vote, with 57 abstentions, parliamentarians called on the EU and its Member States to recognize “the rights of women and girls to bodily integrity and autonomous decision-making” and condemned “frequent violations of women’s sexual and reproductive rights, including the denial of access to comprehensive sexuality education, family planning services, contraceptives and maternal healthcare, as well as safe and legal abortion care” and called “for an adequate budget for the above purposes.”
It strongly affirmed “that the denial of SRHR services, including safe and legal abortion, is a form of violence against women and girls” and found it “unacceptable that women’s and girls’ bodies remain an ideological battleground, specifically with regard to their SRHR”.
In regards to development, the resolution urged the European Commission “in defining its future global sustainable development policy as well as implementing the comprehensive strategy for Africa, to fully integrate and strengthen EU support for sexual and reproductive health projects…”
The 2019 Nairobi Summit was a contentious meeting which excluded pro-life advocates and was opposed by the Holy See, bishops in Africa, and Christian organizations in Kenya over its promotion of abortion and other issues included under the broad banner of “sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR)”. Eleven countries issued their own statement affirming that “We do not support references in international documents to ambiguous terms and expressions, such as sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), which do not enjoy international consensus … In addition, the use of the term SRHR may be used to actively promote practices like abortion.”
The resolution expresses opposition to that statement and welcomes President Biden’s overturning of President Trump’s Protecting Life in Global health Assistance Policy:
“Deeply regrets the joint statement on the Nairobi Summit of 14 November 2019 made by the United States, Brazil, Belarus, Egypt, Haiti, Hungary, Libya, Poland, Senegal, St. Lucia, and Uganda, which seeks to undermine the established consensus and their obligations regarding women’s SRHR as agreed in accordance with the ICPD Programme of Action, the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences; welcomes the recent repealing of the Global Gag Rule and the impact it has had on women’s and girls’ global healthcare and rights; reiterates its call for the EU and its Member States to address the financing gap in this field by means of national funding and EU development funding.”
Read more here.

New Alliance to Advance Abortion Globally

Just ahead of UN Women’s Generation Equality Forum, a new radical feminist alliance has formed to “advance Generation Equality Forum’s commitments on sexual and reproductive rights around the world.” International Planned Parenthood Federation Western Hemisphere (IPPFWHR) has announced that it “is acquiring” the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE) and the International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC) “to create an ecosystem that will drive feminist commitments from Forum Generation Equality in health and sexual rights and reproductive worldwide. 
The new alliance will seek to advance “an innovative model for international action and solidarity on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR)” during what is described as “a moment of urgent need for action and solidarity to protect sexual and reproductive health and rights.”
IPPFWHR states, “This newly consolidated entity will become a global feminist changemaker, and over the coming months, will formally announce its new name and identity.” It explains that it spun off from International Planned Parenthood Federation in 2020 and joined with partners from Latin America and the Caribbean “to deepen and drive” its mission. IWHC is described as having “experience with policy, advocacy, and Trust Based Grant Making” working in Latin America, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. CHANGE, based in Washington, D.C., is described as being “at the forefront of securing and protecting SRHR for all, driving public conversation, and shaping U.S. and global health policy.”
CHANGE explains the new alliance as uniting “the strengths and resources of all the groups combining service delivery, policy advocacy, research, and grant-making” creating “a new feminist alliance critically needed to dismantle neo-colonialism and racism and ensure that all women, girls and gender diverse people have their rights maintained, protected, and expanded.”
The new alliance will expand its impact and “ecosystem” to more than 150 partners and “will connect and coordinate political advocacy strategies and actions across national, regional, and international spaces” while accelerating the shift toward sexual and reproductive healthcare.
CHANGE President Serra Sippel stated, “Joining IPPFWHR is an exciting and critical step in CHANGE’s journey to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights and hold the US government accountable. CHANGE’s robust advocacy agenda will now be informed by and led by an ecosystem of feminist and women’s rights organizations worldwide, elevating the voices and priorities of those most impacted by US policy decisions made in our nation’s Capital.”

G7 “Shared Agenda” Includes Ending the Lives of Unborn Children

G7 leaders concluded their Summit with agreement on the Carbis Bay G7 Summit Communiqué, Our Shared Agenda for Global Action to Build Back Better which includes support for abortion as part of “sexual and reproductive health and rights” advanced in the name of gender equality. 
Following the tactic of President Biden—who has not said the word “abortion” since taking office and is being tracked by pro-abortion activists in the countdown Did Biden Say Abortion Yet, the word “abortion” is not mentioned in the declaration. Rather the abortion-inclusive term “sexual and reproductive health and rights” is included in the G7 leaders’ 27-page statement—but not in its summary— and in the leaders’ 2021 Open Societies Statement.
The leaders commit “to close alignment with the Generation Equality Forum (GEF)”. 
Read more here.

Journalists in Middle East and North Africa Targeted by Abortion Activists

Journalists in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA region) are being targeted by pro-abortion activists seeking supportive coverage in the news. A webinar will be held on July 1 by the Network RAWSA MENA – Rights and Access for Women to Safe Abortion in the MENA Region. The announcement states that the objective of the webinar “is to discuss how journalists in the MENA region can act on advocacy for safe abortion, avoid stigmatizing discourse and raise awareness on barriers and risks for women in a context of unsafe abortion. During the webinar, the participants will be informed about the abortion situation in the entire region and how this issue is covered in the media. Moreover, the webinar will be the occasion to share key messages on safe abortion and how to use them.”
The announcement claims that too often “journalists engaged in reporting on reproductive and sexual rights, including the right to safe abortion, are limited by the conservative environment and not able to create an open debate on this topic.” The RAWSA Network states that it “wishes to develop strategic partnerships with journalists and media, in order to defend the right to safe abortion in the region”, relaying the information that “the Network pays great attention to the anonymity of participants who are not willing to be visible. Only the organiser will have your name and contact. You can change your name on the screen when you join the webinar.”

Queensland: Marie Stopes Closing Non-Lucrative Abortion Clinics

Marie Stopes Australia announced it is closing its regional abortion clinics in Queensland, NSW. A news report claims, “One of the factors that has impacted the viability of regional abortion clinics has been a decrease in the number of women requiring a surgical abortion since decriminalisation.” 
Queensland decriminalized abortion in 2018 which leads one to question if Marie Stopes Australia was performing illegal surgical abortions in its regional clinics prior to 2018.
Its managing director said that that use of “medical abortion”—abortion-inducing drugs—has increased in recent years and that the “stigma of abortion had also resulted in difficulties recruiting staff in regional areas”.

The abortion provider is turning to the use of tele-medicine for DIY abortion at home. 
Defending Life

Two Parliaments, Two Responses to Abortion of Unborn Baby Girls

Lawmakers in Montenegro and Canada each addressed the issue of sex selection abortion and met with varied reactions. Montenegro has a problem with distorted sex rations at birth having one of the 10 highest imbalances in the world: 108 newborn boys for every 100 girls in 2020.
Sex selection abortion, choosing sons over daughters, has been illegal in this former Yugoslav republic since 2009. During parliamentary debate on the dwindling proportion of newborn girls, a lawmaker "sincerely condemned" the trend but brushed it off as an unavoidable result of medical "technique" and the state of "the world" today. According to Radio Free Europe, “He then followed his blasé allusion to family-building-by-abortion with a kicker. ‘Every citizen has the right to influence the reproduction of their children,’ ruling coalition member Dragan Ivanovic told fellow legislators.”
The comments were met with strong opposition from women’s groups and socialists. The executive director of the Montenegrin Women's Lobby, Aida Petrovic, condemned it as "shameful" and tantamount to "public support for selective abortions." The Women's Rights Center, which has fought for tighter enforcement to stop sex-selective abortions, called the nonexistent ‘right’ Ivanovic was describing “a violation of the constitution and antidiscrimination laws”. The opposition Democratic Party of Socialists called the comment “a sign of a retrograde government that treats women as though they are ‘obviously unwanted’."
The president of the parliament, Aleksa Becic, apologized to the public and called for "messages of respect for the right of everyone to be born, regardless of whether [it’s a] male or female fetus." The chairwoman of the parliamentary committee on gender equality, Bozena Jelusic, condemned Ivanovic and described selective abortion as a cancer on Montenegrin society.
The lawmaker apologized saying that he opposing selective abortions and that his statement was “reckless”.
Meanwhile, in Canada, a bill by Conservative MP Cathay Wagantall in the House of Commons that would ban abortion if that abortion “is sought solely on the grounds of the child’s genetic sex”, was defeated by pro-abortion politicians, including members of Wagantall’s Conservative Party and its leader, Erin O’Toole.
During debate on the legislation, Waganatall had explained her purpose for the legislation, “Sex-selective abortion is happening in Canada and because we have no law against it. Above all, I’m bringing this bill forward in defense of pre-born Canadian girls and boys who are aborted simply due to their sex.”
She added that “sex-selective abortion is a persistent and overlooked form of gender inequality” which deserves “urgent attention and a concerted legislative response” stating that “sex-selective abortion is not permissible in a society that advocates for the equality of the sexes.”
During comments on the bill, Maryam Monsef, minister for women and gender equality, called the bill “legislation to limit women’s access to choice and reproductive health”. She said, “The debate is over. Women and women alone are in control of their bodies and their health care choices. This is not a place for politicians to weigh in.”
The vote on the Sex-selective Abortion Act was 248-82 with lawmakers choosing not to stop this first act of violence and discrimination against the youngest of girls instead expressing their commitment to abortionism. A 2020 poll found that an overwhelming majority of Canadians, 84 percent, “oppose legalizing abortion if the family does not want the baby to be a certain sex.” 
Focus on the United Nations

Radical NGOs Want to Deny Pro-Life Groups Access to the UN

A group of radical organizations have launched a desperate attempt to deny pro-life and pro-family groups access to the United Nations calling upon UN agencies to “stop access to decision-making” for pro-life and pro-family advocates. Organizations belonging to the OURs Platform charge that they “can no longer afford to wait.” They claim that “many of our human rights spaces and processes have already been undermined” by conservative groups that are increasingly active at the UN level.
Translation: The message of groups advocating for the right to life of children in the womb and the rights of the natural family make sense to many ambassadors and delegates at the United Nations who refuse to agree with new interpretations of human rights treaties that promote a radical agenda which many countries oppose.
As a result, the twenty NGOs, including Planned Parenthood, Ipas, Catholics for Choice and World Council of Churches, have resorted to issuing a report critical of the life and family groups along with a petition to UN officials. In the petition— Time for Action: Stop the anti-rights infiltration of the UN! —the groups call on official mandate holders in the United Nations “to take urgent action to counter ultraconservative mobilisation against human rights.”
They call for “red lines and concrete action to stem the tide of anti-rights infiltration”. They seek greater manipulation of the UN to advance a “coordinated approach to address anti-rights mobilization as dangerous attacks on rights related to gender and sexuality with devastating impacts on all human rights and systems of accountability.”
Selfishly, they demand that the UN officials engage in “meaningful collaboration with feminist and social justice movements to develop robust, comprehensive, and effective responses to the threats of fascisms and fundamentalisms.”
They seek to cancel the critical access of pro-life and pro-family groups to the UN by using inflammatory language as they demand that UN officials engage in “identifying and addressing systemic breakdowns and infiltration of anti-rights actors, and creating a conducive environment for feminist and social justice movements and marginalized communities to drive human rights agendas.” 
The petition concludes, “Resisting the legitimization of anti-rights actors under the guise of human rights organizations and taking all possible measures to stop their access to decision-making positions.
Translation: We cannot counter the effective messages of groups opposed to the new interpretations of human rights law that we profess so we will use the language of ‘cancel culture’ to try and block their access to the UN.

An attack “report” was issued along with the petition. Rights at Risk: Time for Action includes attacks on a number of US organizations active at the UN and on the Holy See. In regards to the issuing of a reservation during negotiations, the report references reservations issued by the Holy See and UN Member States stating, “While these reservations have minimal legal effect, the goals are political and symbolic. Ultimately the aim is to undermine consensus on human rights standards, create a freezing effect on the progressive interpretation of human rights language, and to mark out a space as a persistent objector to an emerging human rights norm so as not to be held accountable under it.”
Legislative News

UK: MPs Call for End to DIY Abortion

A group of MPs led by Carla Lockhart have launched a motion calling for an end to a “DIY” abortion program that the government temporarily allowed in March 2020 during the COVID-19 lockdown. The government recently held a public consultation on making this policy permanent. The Early Day Motion (EDM) calls for an end to the DIY initiative, emphasizing the risks it poses to women’s health. The motion details complications and emergency medical care that have arisen after DIY abortions at home and the risks a lack of medical oversight poses to ensure the drugs are taken properly, by the intended recipient, and without coercion. “The dangers of DIY abortions are well known. There is simply no guarantee about who actually takes the abortion drugs; there are no in-person checks on the gestation of the baby, and it is very difficult to reliably assess whether or not the woman is being forced into doing something she does not want to do,” said Right to Life spokesperson Catherin Robinson. Right to Life UK is urging MPs to sign the motion. 

UK: Government Will Not Endorse Assisted Suicide Legislation

The UK government has confirmed it will not recommend legislation to legalize assisted suicide. Secretary of Health and Social Care Matt Hancock made the announcement at a meeting of the All-party Parliamentary (APPG) for Dying Well, a coalition of MPs opposed to a change in law on euthanasia and increased focus on high-quality palliative care. Secretary Hancock endorsed the creation of a “What Works” center to study the quality of end-of-life care and emphasized the importance of keeping it neutral. “I think it is important that any debate that we have is nested in a wider debate about how we support people better towards the end of their lives,” said Hancock. 

South Australia: Parliament Approves Assisted Suicide

South Australia is the latest Australian state to legalize assisted suicide after legislation passed both chambers of parliament. This was the 17th attempt in 26 years to make euthanasia accessible and is modeled after the law in effect in Victoria. The new law will permit assisted suicide for patients facing a terminal illness, require the approval of two doctors, and will be under the oversight of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Review Board. The law is expected to go into effect in 18 months. 

CAN: MPs Vote No on Bill to Ban Sex-Selective Abortion

Canadian MPs have rejected a bill to ban sex-selective abortion. The “Sex-selective Abortion Act”, Bill C-233, would have made it illegal to abort an unborn baby based on his/her sex. During the second reading of the bill, it was defeated by a vote of 248-82, with thirty-eight members of the Conservative Party and all Liberal, NDP, Bloc, Green and all but one independent MPs voting against. The bill’s sponsor, MP Cathay Wagantall, explained that “sex-selective abortion is not permissible in a society that advocates for the equality of the sexes.” After the vote, she thanked those who supported the bill. “I'm proud to be standing with colleagues in the house who have the bravery to vote their conscience on #SexSelectiveAbortion. Please send a 'thank you' to the individuals who stood up in defence of baby girls in the womb by voting in favour of bill #C233,” tweeted Wagantall.  
Executive News

Scotland: Abortion Rates Rise with “DIY” Abortions

Public Health Scotland has released data showing a significant rise in the number of abortions in the country in 2020. The statistics show an increase in the total number of abortions and a 20 percent increase in late-term abortions. The rise correlates with the temporary measure permitting “Do-It-Yourself” (DIY) home abortions that was enacted due to the Covid-19 quarantine. Numerous reports of medical emergencies have surfaced questioning the safety of the “DIY” policy. “This significant rise in abortions coincides with the temporary measures allowing ‘DIY’ home abortions in the UK. Since governments permitted ‘DIY’ home abortions, many stories of illegal late-term abortions and safety abuses have come to light,” said Catherine Robinson, spokesperson for Right to Life UK. “We are calling on the Scottish Government to end these ‘DIY’ home abortion schemes immediately”. 

Japan: Government Increases Access to Prenatal Genetic Screening

The Japanese government has announced it will increase access to early prenatal testing, raising concerns that this will lead to increased abortions of handicapped babies. The noninvasive prenatal genetic testing (NIPT) tests the mother’s blood to determine the risk of the baby having trisomy 21 (Down syndrome), trisomy 13, or trisomy 18. The government will provide information on testing on its websites and local government will distribute information on available testing and consultations. The Japan Down Syndrome Society (JDS) has urged caution in making testing more available: “There is an unavoidable concern that it will spread false understanding that (Down syndrome) is a disability requiring testing and a choice whether to give birth.” 

Gibraltar: National Referendum Votes to Legalize Abortion

The people of Gibraltar said yes to abortion in a national referendum this month, with 62% of voters electing to legalize abortion. The current law in the British territory protected the right to life and banned abortions. This new law will permit abortion in the first trimester in cases of mental or physical health, and later in cases of fetal anomaly. Chief Minister Fabian Picardo, a big supporter, vowed to pass the new legislation within a month. 
Judicial News

Argentina: Judge Rules Abortion Law Unconstitutional

An Argentine federal judge has ruled that the recently passed law legalizing abortion in the country is unconstitutional. Judge Alfredo López of Mar del Plata ruled that the implementation of the new law must be suspended until the Supreme Court hears the case. Last December, the Argentine government passed legislation removing the country’s pro-life protections to permit abortion on demand. In March, a provincial judge ruled the law unconstitutional. The case challenging the law deemed it violated Argentina’s constitutional protection of the right to life and its commitment to international obligations to protect those rights. Judge López ruled in favor, writing that the Supreme Court has previously affirmed “the right to the preservation of health- included in the right to life.” The judge said the High Court “has considered that the right to life is the first right of the human person that is recognized and guaranteed by the National Constitution.” He said the government must suspend implanting the law until the Supreme Court decides the case.  

Austria: Court Rules Ban on Euthanasia Unconstitutional

Austria’s Constitutional Court has ruled the national law banning euthanasia is unconstitutional. The ruling asserted that a statute criminalizing one who helps another commit suicide infringes on an individual’s right to self-determination. The decision opens the country up to assisted suicide, a point Austria’s Catholic bishops have strongly criticized. “Dying is a part of life, but not killing. Assisted suicide must therefore never be understood as a medical service or otherwise a service of a healthcare profession,” said the bishops in a letter. They asked the court to reconsider and urged lawmakers to enact safeguards if assisted suicide is permitted. The repeal of the law takes effect in December 2021. 

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

In this Issue

Focus on United States
U.S. Commits to Advancing Abortion around the World
President Biden and Democrats Act to Fund the Death of Unborn Children 
Bill to Eliminate State Laws on Abortion Advances
House Republicans Denied Vote on ‘No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act’ 
U.S.: Legislation Would Prohibit Human-Animal Hybrids for Research
International Pressure for Abortion
European Parliament Approves Two Extreme Pro-Abortion Resolutions
New Alliance Forms to Advance SRHR Globally
G7 “Shared Agenda” Includes Ending the Lives of Unborn Children
Journalists in Middle East and North Africa Targeted by Abortion Activists
Queensland: Marie Stopes’ Closing Non-Lucrative Abortion Clinics
Defending Life
Two Parliaments, Two Responses to Abortion of Unborn Baby Girls
Focus on the United Nations
Radical NGOs Want to Deny Pro-Life Groups Access to the UN 
Legislative News
UK: MPs Launch Motion Calling for an End to ‘DIY’ Abortion 
UK: Government Will Not Recommend Assisted Suicide 
South Australia: Parliament Approves Assisted Suicide 
Canada: Pro-abortion Politicians Defeat Bill Against Sex Selection Abortion
Executive News
UK: Abortions Increase with Introduction of ‘DIY’ Home Abortions 
Japan: New Access to Prenatal Tests Fuel Concerns
Judicial News
Austria: Court Rules Assisted Suicide Ban is Unconstitutional 
Argentina: Judge Suspends Abortion Law Throughout Country
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