Parliamentary Network E-News

Volume 16
No. 5
June, 2022
World and UN Leaders Oppose Dobbs Support Abortion

G7 Leaders Oppose Dobbs, Support Abortion

G7 Leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US met in Elmau, Germany following the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe and Casey which returned abortion laws to elected representatives. Prior to arrival at the Summit, statements opposing the overturning Roe were expressed by a number of leaders. “I’ve got to tell you, I think it’s a big step backwards,” said UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. “I’ve always believed in a woman’s right to choose and I stick to that view and that is why the UK has the laws that it does,” he added.
Other leaders used Twitter to express their opinions. Canada’s Justin Trudeau tweeted:
"The news coming out of the United States is horrific. My heart goes out to the millions of American women who are now set to lose their legal right to an abortion.”
G7 host German Chancellor Olaf Scholz tweeted:
 "Women's rights are threatened. We must defend them resolutely." French president Macron tweeted: “Abortion is a fundamental right for all women. It must be protected. I wish to express my solidarity with the women whose liberties are being undermined by the Supreme Court of the United States.”
Given the pro-abortion support it is no surprise that the concluding Communiqué for the G7 Summit contains a pro-abortion commitment to increase “collective efforts to achieve comprehensive Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) for all” and to work in partnerships to “attain universal health coverage (UHC) per the 2030 Agenda”. UHC has become a vehicle to broaden access to abortion that includes positioning abortion as a primary care issue.
Elaborating on the pandemic, G7 leaders repeated pro-abortion talking points equating access to abortion with women’s and girl’s empowerment stating: “The pandemic has also deprived millions of women of sexual and reproductive health services – putting at risk the progress made in the past 20 years on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) for all. We reaffirm our full commitment to achieve comprehensive SRHR of all individuals, and stress the importance of access to emergency sexual and reproductive health services in humanitarian crises. We recognise the essential and transformative role of SRHR in gender equality and women’s and girls’ empowerment, and in supporting diversity, including of sexual orientations and gender identities.”
The G7 Health Ministers’ in their Communiqué called for the G7 “to strengthen health systems to restore essential health services for women and girls, including to address the COVID-19 pandemic’s negative impacts on sexual and reproductive health and rights for all, including access to comprehensive sexuality education, contraception, and safe abortion and post-abortion care.”
The G7 also expressed their support for the ongoing negotiations for a controversial WHO treaty on pandemics. During deliberations at the recent World Health Assembly, attempts by the Biden administration to give the WHO ultimate authority on declaring health emergencies and responses were opposed by African nations and others who are concerned that such changes threaten national sovereignty. Given the promotion of abortion in the context of the pandemic there is also a real pro-life concern to such a treaty.

Top UN Officials Condemn Dobbs Decision

Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus expressed his disappointment on June 24 to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe: "I am very disappointed, because women’s rights must be protected. And I would have expected America to protect such rights."
After attending the G7 where leaders expressed support for access to abortion, he elaborated and called abortion health care during a press conference on June 29:
“Finally, in light of the decision by the US Supreme Court overturning the ‘Roe v Wade’, I want to reaffirm WHO’s position. 
“All women should have the right to choose when it comes to their bodies and health. Full stop.
“Safe abortion IS health care. 
“It saves lives. Restricting it drives women and girls towards unsafe abortions; resulting in complications, even death.”
“Over the last 40 years, the global trend is toward women having greater access to safe abortion and while last week was a set-back, it is more important than ever to come together to protect women’s right to safe abortion - everywhere.” 
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres through his spokesman Stephane Dujarric said that the Supreme Court ruling could endanger women’s lives claiming that restricting access to abortion “only makes it more deadly.” Dujarric said, "Sexual and reproductive health and rights are the foundation of a life of choice, empowerment and equality for the world's women and girls.”
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, called the decision a "major setback” that “is detrimental to women's human rights and gender equality.” She said, “Access to safe, legal and effective abortion is firmly rooted in international human right law and is at the core of women and girls’ autonomy and ability to make their own choices about their bodies and lives, free of discrimination, violence and coercion.”
A cadre of “UN experts” issued a statement denouncing what they called the “shocking and dangerous decision by the Supreme Court of the United States to strike down a nearly fifty-year-old legal precedent that has protected women’s right to choose to have an abortion, describing it as a serious regression of an existing right that will jeopardize women’s health and lives.”
The ‘experts’—pro-abortion activists serving in UN positions—claimed that the majority opinion of the U.S. Supreme Court was without “sound legal reasoning” and “stripped women, girls and all persons capable of becoming pregnant in the country, of existing legal protections that are necessary to ensure their ability to determine the course of their lives and to live with dignity.”
The ’experts’ falsely claim that the Supreme Court “completely disregarded the United States’ binding legal obligations under international human rights law”. They also claim that international liberalization of abortion laws in recent decades is a “positive trend that reflects the understanding that personhood is not established until birth.”
Post-Roe America

Post-Roe Pro-Life America

The ruling by the US Supreme Court to overturn past abortion decisions and return the ability to make laws on abortion to elected legislators on the state and federal levels has begun a new pro-life era. The decision was tearfully and joyously welcomed by pro-life advocates who are united on increased outreach to pregnant women to offer support and meet their needs—to show love for both mother and child.
On the legal side, state legislatures and governors are the focus of pro-life and pro-abortion lobby efforts. Susan B Anthony Pro-Life America is tracking state laws on early abortion limits and reports that 11 states have total or near total limits on abortion in effect, 7 states have total or near total limits that will soon be in effect, legal action is pending in 4 states on total or near total limits, 1 state (Florida) has a 15-week pain capable limit pending legal action, and 28 states have few or no legal limits on abortion.
Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities issued a statement following the decision that echoed the views of the pro-life movement. It included,
“This is a historic day in the life of our country, one that stirs our thoughts, emotions and prayers. For nearly fifty years, America has enforced an unjust law that has permitted some to decide whether others can live or die; this policy has resulted in the deaths of tens of millions of preborn children, generations that were denied the right to even be born.
“America was founded on the truth that all men and women are created equal, with God-given rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This truth was grievously denied by the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling, which legalized and normalized the taking of innocent human life. We thank God today that the Court has now overturned this decision. We pray that our elected officials will now enact laws and policies that promote and protect the most vulnerable among us.
“Today’s decision is also the fruit of the prayers, sacrifices, and advocacy of countless ordinary Americans from every walk of life. Over these long years, millions of our fellow citizens have worked together peacefully to educate and persuade their neighbors about the injustice of abortion, to offer care and counseling to women, and to work for alternatives to abortion, including adoption, foster care, and public policies that truly support families. We share their joy today and we are grateful to them. Their work for the cause of life reflects all that is good in our democracy, and the pro-life movement deserves to be numbered among the great movements for social change and civil rights in our nation’s history. 
“Now is the time to begin the work of building a post-Roe America. It is a time for healing wounds and repairing social divisions; it is a time for reasoned reflection and civil dialogue, and for coming together to build a society and economy that supports marriages and families, and where every woman has the support and resources she needs to bring her child into this world in love.”
The co-chairs of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus issued a statement applauding “the Supreme Court’s decision on Dobbs that empowers elected representatives to protect unborn children”. According to Rep Chris Smith, “Now, more than ever, women and men of conscience must act to protect the weakest and most vulnerable.”

President Biden Calls Court Decision on Abortion ‘Destabilizing’

President Biden, in Spain for a meeting of NATO, said about the US during a press conference that the "one thing that has been destabilizing is the outrageous behavior of the Supreme Court of the United States and overruling not only Roe v. Wade but essentially challenging the right to privacy. We've been a leader in the world in terms of personal rights and privacy rights, and it is a mistake, in my view, for the Supreme Court to do what it did."
Biden’s response diverts away from abortion to focus on other privacy issues including contraception and ignores the fact that Justice Alito clearly states in the Dobbs decision that the decision is only about abortion: “And to ensure that our decision is not misunderstood or mischaracterized, we emphasize that our decision concerns the constitutional right to abortion and no other right. Nothing in this opinion should be understood to cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion.”
Biden also called for the Senate to pass sweeping abortion legislation approved by Democrats in the House that would codify Roe and remove all state laws against abortion. He urged Democrats in the Senate to employ a one-time exception to the filibuster rules. “The most important thing to be clear about is I believe we have to codify Roe v. Wade in the law, and the way to do that is to make sure the Congress votes to do that,” Biden said.
“And if the filibuster gets in the way… it should be we provide an exception for this, requiring an exception to the filibuster for this action to deal with the Supreme Court decision,” Biden added
Hours after his remarks, two Democrat senators shut down Biden's wish and reaffirmed their opposition to changing the 60-vote requirement needed for most legislation to pass to allow the abortion-on-demand bill to be codified into law with a simple majority.
Committed to Abortion, Biden No Longer Calls It a “Tragedy”
In his White House statement following the Dobbs decision, Biden said that the ruling “will have real and immediate consequences. State laws banning abortion are automatically taking effect today, jeopardizing the health of millions of women, some without exceptions.” 
Biden continually categorizes abortion as health care—abandoning his past belief—that abortion is a “tragedy”, saying now that the decision is so extreme “that women could be punished for protecting their health” and “doctors will be criminalized for fulfilling their duty to care.”
The president says that the fight is far from over and calls on Congress to codify Roe v. Wade in federal law. He stated, “No executive action from the President can do that. And if Congress, as it appears, lacks the vote — votes to do that now, voters need to make their voices heard”, referring to the November elections.
Biden’s extreme pro-abortion position is vastly different than his past position. In a 2006 interview Biden said:
”I do not view abortion as a choice and a right. I think it’s always a tragedy, and I think that it should be rare and safe, and I think we should be focusing on how to limit the number of abortions. There ought to be able to have a common ground and consensus as to do that.” He added at the time that the focus should be on “how to deal with women not wanting abortions.”
Biden today says that he will do all in his power “to protect a woman’s right in states where they will face the consequences of today’s decision.” This includes women seeking an abortion being able to travel to another state and having access to abortion-inducing drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) including “mifepristone, which the FDA approved 20 years ago to safely end early pregnancies and is commonly used to treat miscarriages.”
Biden said that he is “directing the Department of Health and Human Services to take steps to ensure that these critical medications are available to the fullest extent possible and that politicians cannot interfere in the decisions that should be made between a woman and her doctor. And my administration will remain vigilant as the implications of this decision play out.”

Biden Administration Seeks to Bypass State Abortion Laws

President Biden has directed his administration to enable access to abortion throughout the US in any and all ways it can following the Supreme Court’s decision to return lawmaking on abortion back to state and federal legislators. The Biden-Harris administration has been scheming how to bypass state limitations and bans on abortion in order to secure access to abortion across the U.S.
Attorney General Merrick B. Garland is focusing attention on the ability of women seeking an abortion to travel to other states and on working to enable and expand access to abortion-inducing drugs.
Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra, outlined the first five actions of the Biden administrations explaining that there is “no magic bullet” but said that “if there is something we can do, we will find it and we will do it at HHS. Indeed, that was the instruction I received from the President of the United States.”
Abortion Czar Vice President Harris continues to work to build pro-abortion coalitions along with Jennifer Klein, White House Gender Policy Council Director, and Julie Chavez Rodriguez, White House Intergovernmental Affairs Director, a project begun before the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs Wade. The trio have hosted dozens of meetings designed to motivate pro-abortion activism and advance pro-abortion legislation. The roundtable discussions have included state attorney generals, state legislative leaders, constitutional law, privacy, and technology experts, faith leaders, health care providers, disabled activists, youth leaders and others.
Read more here.

National Emergency Sought to Ensure Access to Abortion Pills

The president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, which represented the abortion clinic in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, has penned an op-ed calling on President Biden to declare a public health emergency following the Dobbs decision claiming that the decision “creates a staggering public health emergency requiring swift and definitive action from all sectors, including the Biden administration.”
Nancy Northup writes that soon abortion will be banned outright or severely limited in about half the states and across the country and “people’s health and lives are at stake”. She calls on the Biden administration “to address this crisis immediately by declaring a public health emergency for abortion.”
“Such a declaration”, she writes, “would give the Department of Health and Human Services power to help patients get vital abortion care wherever they live. Under the declaration, HHS can enable out-of-state prescribing and dispensing of medication abortion for those in states with abortion bans.”
She believes that HHS Secretary Becerra can declare a public health emergency under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act to “ensure that medication abortion reaches even those in states that ban abortion outright. The Prep Act empowers the HHS secretary to issue a declaration that would shield providers, pharmacists, patients and others from liability for their involvement in providing medication abortion in hostile states.”
Such a declaration she claims, “would supersede state abortion bans as applied to medication abortion, because the Prep Act allows for overriding any state law that frustrates the administration of a drug that mitigates the declared public health emergency.”
“This partial solution to the public health crisis would not require any federal funding or congressional authorization. HHS has the regulatory authority and should exercise it immediately.”
While a national law guaranteeing access to abortion is the goal, Northup believes that in the meantime, “the administration must take the first step toward restoring national protections: Declare a public health emergency now and ensure that medication abortion is available across the nation.”
Defending Life

UK: Pro-Life MPs Voice Support for U.S. Supreme Court Decision

Pro-life MPs and Peers spoke out in support the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade in both houses of British parliament. “Would the minister not agree that giving legal protection to the unborn is arguably a clear recognition of the unborn life, and America have done just that, and I welcome the [decision],” said Carla Lockhart MP, who also pointed out that there is no international right to abortion. Ian Paisley MP noted it was good that the abortion laws are “now subject to state democratic control and not to one single group of judges”. Responding to a similar question in the House of Lords, Baroness O’Loan, Baroness Hoey, and Lord Cormack argued that the UK should not interfere in U.S. domestic policy.   

Spain: Thousands Celebrate Life in the Streets of Madrid

Thousands of Spaniards took to the streets to celebrate the reversal of Roe and affirm the right to life against abortion and euthanasia. Organizers say up to 100,000 people marched through Madrid carrying pro-life signs. Former Minister of the Interior and president of One of Us, Jaime Mayor Oreja, noted the march was proof that "the culture of life is more alive than ever". Oreja called the Supreme Court ruling “an element of hope and of the future” and “that with the laws that destroy human nature no future is built.” María San Gil, former president of the Popular Basques and current vice-president of the Villacisneros Foundation, heralded the opinion of the US Supreme Court calling it "a path of hope".  


Latin America: Pro-Life Leaders Celebrate Reversal of Roe

Pro-life leaders across Latin America celebrated the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, calling it “historic,” “a new legal precedent,” and “similar to the end of slavery.” Sara Larín, president of the VIDA SV Foundation in El Salvador, celebrated the ruling. “Now each state will have the freedom to decide whether to prohibit or restrict abortion,” said Larín. “In addition, that would impact federal policy decisions to prevent abortion from being financed as part of U.S. cooperative aid to other countries in the region. The decision of the Supreme Court will undoubtedly have a positive impact on Latin America.”  
“We have seen light in the midst of darkness!” said Martha Villafuerte, the national director of Familia Ecuador. “This couldn’t be a more perfect moment … that strengthens the entire pro-life community in the world, where many countries have recently had unconstitutional attacks, unjust laws, and despite everything, today the United States gives us a wake-up call that rouses our convictions more than ever,” she said.  
Marcial Padilla, director of ConParticipación, said the ruling sends a strong message to Latin America that “it’s possible to reverse the trend toward abortion in the laws and courts” and that said, “we must participate in the elections for government officials and the appointment of judges who respect human life at all times.”  
International Pressure for Abortion

Members of European Parliament Seek to Ban Pro-Life Advocates

The attempt to discredit pro-life organizations working at the European Parliament, an effort begun by the Parliamentary Forum for Sexual and Reproductive Rights, has reached a new undemocratic low as 8 Members of the Renew Europe political group asked the president of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, to withdraw the accreditation of pro-life advocates in order to block their entry into building and prevent their lobbying for protection of unborn children. The move comes ahead of a vote next week on the inclusion of the right to abortion in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
According to the group’s Twitter account: Renew Europe @RenewEurope:
“No going back on women's rights. The weakening of abortion rights… shows the need to safeguard rights…At our initiative, the @Europarl_EN will vote next week on the inclusion of the right to abortion in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
The letter is entitled "Request to withdraw the accreditation of radical conservative anti-abortion lobbyists from the premises of the European Parliament" with the demand that it be carried out "immediately".
Dutch politician Samira Rafaela from Renew Europe writes, "We are writing to call for the immediate withdrawal of accreditation of lobbyists linked to radical-conservative anti-abortion NGOs on European Parliament premises". She states that the EU body should not give space to the "spreading of propaganda and false, toxic narratives", as she maligns efforts to protect children in the womb from the violence of abortion. 
Rafaela writes that the Dobbs decision is “unprecedented backsliding” and fears that the action in the US “will ignite a fierce debate in Europe as well,” the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf writes. According to Rafaela, the American pro-life view can be seen in Hungary, Poland and the Netherlands and she is concerned that organizations against abortion working in Europe “are closely connected to the American movement.”
The letter ends with complete contempt for the pro-life position which is considered ‘undeserving’ of freedom of speech: "The destructive ideology that seeks to curtail fundamental human rights does not belong to the spectrum of free expression.”

Pro-Abortion NGOs in Europe Call for Greater Access to Abortion

Using the Dobbs decision as an excuse, 70 pro-abortion organizations in Europe, under the leadership of US-based Center for Reproductive Rights, are calling for greater access to abortion throughout Europe. In a Protecting Abortion Access in Europe – A Call to Action the organizations urge European leaders to remove “legal and policy barriers to abortion” including waiting periods, third party authorizatons, mandatory counselling and restrictions on access to abortion-causing drugs.
The NGO demands include: “Remove regulatory barriers regarding medication abortion and legalise telemedicine delivery as well as self-management of medication abortion care in line with WHO guidance."
In the European Union, only Malta and Poland maintain bans on abortion. Poland recently enacted a stronger pro-life law.

European Parliament Injects Itself into U.S. Abortion Debate

In response to the leaked Supreme Court opinion in Dobbs, Members of the European Parliament (EP) voted to urge the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold Roe v Wade. The EP adopted a resolution by 364 votes in favor, 154 against and 37 abstentions calling on the U.S. to ensure access to “safe and legal abortion”; that Roe must be upheld by the Court; and that all EU countries must decriminalize abortion.
The EP expressed concern that countries receiving U.S. aid for health programs could “reverse their commitment to abortion provision and other reproductive rights.” The resolution calls on The European External Action Service, the Commission and all EU countries to “compensate for any possible reduction in US funding to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) globally, and strongly advocate and prioritise universal access to safe and legal abortion in their external relations.”
The EP proposed that “medical professionals who risk legal or other forms of harassment be offered a safe haven” but does not want health care professional opposed to abortion having a right of conscience stating, “those opposed Medical practitioners should not deny women access to abortion care on grounds of religion or conscience, as this can endanger the patient’s life.”
The Catholic bishops Conference Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE), issued a statement opposing the “unacceptable inference of the EP” in the sovereign matters of a State that is not a Member State of the EU. The statement declared that “there is no recognized right to abortion in European or International Law” and therefore, “no State can be obliged to legalize abortion, or to facilitate it, or be instrumental to perform it.”
Legislative News

Poland: Parliament Rejects Bill Expanding Abortion

The Polish parliament rejected a bill to liberalize its abortion law, retaining its pro-life protections. The current law in Poland limits abortion to cases of rape or incest and for the health or life of the mother. The proposed law, a citizens’ initiative initiated by abortion activists, would have made abortion available on demand for the first trimester of pregnancy. The bill failed by a vote of 175-265, marking the third pro-abortion citizens’ initiative the parliament has rejected under the national-conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party’s rule.


Netherlands: Parliament Removes Waiting Period Before Abortion

Dutch legislators in both the lower and upper chambers approved a bill to remove a reflection period before abortion. Current law, established in 1984, requires women wait five days before the procedure. “The abolition of the mandatory cooling-off period does justice to women’s autonomy and their right to self-determination,” said the upper house in a statement. The bill is set to become law in January 2023.

Israel: New Rules Increase Access to Abortion

Israel’s parliamentary committee has approved new regulations to make abortion more accessible. The new rules make abortion pills available at local clinics and remove requirements that women seeking abortions had to first get committee approval. Health minister Nitzan Horowitz criticized the overturning of Roe v. Wade, citing it as the impetus for the new policies. “The reform we approved today will create a simpler process, that is more respectful, advanced, and maintains a woman’s right to make decisions over her own body – a basic human right,” said Horowitz. 

Liberia: Legislators Debating Abortion Legislation

A Joint Committee of the Senate is debating legislation to expand access to abortion. The Senate joint Committees on Health, Gender, Social and Children Protection along with the Judiciary committee are debating expanding the law on abortion. Section 16.3 of Liberia’s penal code criminalizes abortion, permitting it when a doctor determines it is needed for the mother’s physical or mental health. Pro-abortion MPs are pushing to decriminalize abortion and expand the permitted circumstances. The committee discussions are being held in a closed-door session, but some Senators anonymously told The Daily Observer that it’s time for “equality to exist in reality.”

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

In this issue

World and UN Leaders Oppose Dobbs, Support Abortion
G7 Supports Abortion
Top UN Officials Condemn Dobbs Decision
Post-Roe America
President Biden Calls Court Decision on Abortion ‘Destabilizing’
Committed to Abortion, Biden No Longer Calls It a “Tragedy”
Biden Administration Seeks to Bypass State Abortion Laws
National Emergency Sought to Ensure Access to Abortion Pills
Defending Life 
UK: Pro-Life MPs Voice Support for U.S. Supreme Court Decision 
Spain: Thousands Celebrate Life in the Streets of Madrid 
Latin America: Pro-Life Leaders Celebrate Reversal of Roe
International Pressure for Abortion
Members of European Parliament Seek to Ban Pro-Life Advocates
Pro-Abortion NGOs in Europe Call for Greater Access to Abortion
European Parliament Injects Itself into U.S. Abortion Debate
Legislative News
Poland: Parliament Rejects Bill Expanding Abortion
Netherlands: Parliament Removes Waiting Period Before Abortion
Israel: New Rules Increase Access to Abortion
Liberia: Legislators Debating Abortion Legislation
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