Parliamentary Network E-News

Volume 17
No. 3
March, 2023
Access to Abortion Prioritized in U.S. and EU Gen

EU Report on Gender Equality Falsely Equates Dobbs with Iran and the Taliban

The European Commission released its latest report on Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025 designed to give “inspiring examples from the Member States and EU-funded projects” in the five key areas of the strategy including “promoting gender equality and women's rights across the world”.
In the introduction, the 2023 Report on Gender Equality in the EU laments the U.S. Supreme Court Dobbs decision reversing Roe v. Wade stating that it led “to the subsequent adoption of legislation prohibiting abortion in about half of the US states”, which it greatly opposes no matter how many lives will be saved. In the same paragraph,
it condemns the death of a young woman in Iran who died in police custody for not wearing a headscarf and the erosion of women’s rights to education and employment in Afghanistan--there is absolutely no moral equivilance between the three.
France and Belgium are applauded for co-hosting a seminar on “sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) where they shared their good practices”. France is lauded for “improved access to abortion” as it extended the legal limit for abortion.
The report concludes with confirmation that access to abortion is a top priority of the EU and that it opposes the right of duly elected state lawmakers to legislate on abortion: “In 2022, gender equality has repeatedly made it to the headlines, often highlighting that women’s rights were put at risk. Beyond the EU’s borders, the developments in Iran and Afghanistan shocked the world. In the United States, the reversal of the landmark decision in Roe v. Wade by the United States Supreme Court in June and the subsequent adoption of legislation prohibiting abortion in about half of the US states, sparked strong criticism and concerns about women’s rights.”

Biden Reports on Access to Abortion in Gender Equity and Equality Report

In the progress report on Biden’s National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality, which guides a whole-of-government effort to advance gender equity and equality in domestic and foreign policy, one of the goals tracked is access to abortion under that title: Defending Access to Reproductive Health Care.
The section reiterates the pro-abortion actions undertaken by Biden following Dobbs which are viewed as “progress” in gender equity and equality: “…President Biden issued two Executive Orders and established the Task Force on Reproductive Healthcare Access to safeguard access to abortion and contraception; prevent discrimination in health care; defend the right to travel out of state for medical care; promote the safety and security of clinics, providers, and patients; and protect patient privacy and access to accurate information. In addition, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) took independent, evidence-based action that will support access to mifepristone—a drug used in medication abortion that has been approved by the FDA as safe and effective for over 20 years—by allowing it to be prescribed by telehealth and dispensed by a certified mail-order or retail pharmacy.”
The report includes the “progress” in establishing an official website that has a link at the top of the White House website that is dedicated to abortion— It includes a link to stating you should use it “If you need information on your state’s laws or legal help…”
The report also applauds actions taken by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) including requiring providers of emergency care to follow Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) and provide abortion if that is the “stabilizing treatment”; that health care cannot discriminate on the basis of sex; and retail pharmacies are “obligated to ensure access to comprehensive reproductive health care services free from discrimination under federal civil rights law.”

Priorities for the next year are listed with abortion the first priority: Defending Access to Reproductive Health Care. It states, “In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Administration remains committed to protecting access to reproductive health services, including abortion and contraception, and defending reproductive rights and health, including the right to travel and the right to emergency medical care. The President continues to call on Congress to restore the protections of Roe v. Wade in federal law to fully ensure women can make decisions about their own bodies, families, and futures. And the Administration will continue to support sexual and reproductive health and rights globally, including as the largest bilateral donor to voluntary family planning programs.”
International Pressure for Abortion

Inter-American Court Hears Abortion Case

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) held hearings on an abortion case against El Salvador—Beatriz v. El Salvador—brought by pro-abortion activists who seek to not only decriminalize abortion in El Salvador but hope for a broad favorable ruling which will impact abortion across Latin American and the Caribbean. The case is being called an ‘historic moment’; only five countries in Latin America and the Caribbean allow access to abortion with tight restrictions or prohibitions in the remaining countries.
The medical testimony given during the hearing demonstrates the use of Beatriz to push for access to abortion. Dr. Guillermo Ortíz, former chief of obstetrics at the largest maternity hospital in El Salvador, and now the Central America Director for abortion provider Ipas, told the judges that Beatriz’s pregnancy was “high risk” but that “his hands had been tied in terms of offering her an abortion.”
Dr. Rafael Barahona, a doctor from the maternity hospital with experience in high-risk pregnancies, presented a completely different opinion declaring that the pregnancy was not life-threatening and that Beatriz’s Lupus was under control.
El Salvador’s pro-life group Fundacion Sí a la Vida thanked former U.S Commissioner Paolo Carozza for his testimony during the hearing and for speaking about the American Convention on Human Rights which recognizes the dignity of human life from conception, and the right to life of the unborn without discrimination under any exception. Carozza declared, "El Salvador protected the dignity of both".
Pro-abortion leaders do not expect President Nayib Bukele to comply with any pro-abortion decision the Court may make.
Read more here.

Access to Abortion in Biden’s Budget

Pro-abortion actions by the Biden can be read in the overview of Biden’s budget for fiscal year 2024. In the section Promoting Women’s Healthcare and Defending Reproductive Rights listed under Delivering Results for the American People, the budget repeats the litany of Biden’s actions supporting abortion following the Dobbs decision. It includes his two Executive Orders and Presidential Memorandum on access to abortion pills as well as his desire for Congress to federalize access to abortion.
It states that Biden has worked to “protect American’s access to reproductive healthcare” and that the Budget “also increases investments in high-impact and lifesaving voluntary family planning and reproductive health programs to address significant unmet global needs for these services.” The Biden Budget includes $57 million to support the notoriously pro-abortion UN Population Fund (UNFPA).
Actions supporting abortion are included under the category of advancing gender equity and equality at home and abroad. The document states that in the budget, the Administration “remains steadfast in its commitment to invest in opportunities for women and girls and support the needs of marginalized communities, including the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex community. Reflective of that commitment, the Budget requests more than $3 billion to advance gender equity and equality across a broad range of sectors.”
Biden is clear that these actions will affect both the U.S. and the world, “In the face of growing threats to women’s human rights and opportunity around the world, the Administration continues to advance gender equity and equality at home and abroad.”
Notably absent from the budget are long standing bipartisan agreements that no taxpayer funds can be used for abortion on demand either domestically (Hyde Amendment) or globally (Helms Amendment).

Biden Highlights Abortion Support on International Women’s Day

President Biden used International Women’s Day to highlight his work on providing access to abortion around the world. A statement issued from the President included that his Administration “is working with dedicated partners and local communities in every part of the world to expand economic security for women and girls, defend access to health care—including reproductive health care—safeguard women’s political participation and human rights…”
In his delivered statement, Biden said that in the name of improving the status of women and girls he “launched a whole-of-government effort to protect reproductive rights” and spoke about his National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality, which affects both domestic and foreign policy.
Biden also said that he is proud that this FY 2024 Budget will “request $2.6 billion for foreign assistance programs that promote gender equality worldwide, more than doubling the amount requested for gender programs last year.” Missing from the budget are any restrictions on using taxpayer funds to pay for abortion.

International Women’s Day—Attacks on Churches in Latin America

International Women’s Day saw radical feminists and pro-abortion activists take to the streets in Latin America while a number used the occasion to vandalize Catholic churches and public buildings. In Mexico City, protesters attacked the cathedral located in Constitution Plaza and attempted to tear down a fence while police tried to disperse them.
It was reported that in other cities in Mexico, church goers and police had paint thrown at them while the slogans “get your rosaries off our ovaries” and “death to pro-lifers” were chanted. The walls of a seminary were also defaced and windows broken. The message “Abort the Church” was sprayed outside another cathedral.
Similar attacks took place in Argentina where radical feminists broke down fences protecting a cathedral and even beat the policewomen who were guarding it. In Santa Cruz, Bolivia, a minor basilica was targeted by pro-abortion activists who vandalized its doors and columns but were blocked from committing additional damage by the faithful gathered inside.

UK Announces New Funding for Abortion on International Women’s Day

On International Women’s Day, the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) announced a new initiative “to tackle gender inequality around the world” dedicating over £200 million of taxpayers’ money (over $239,000,000) for programs to provide abortions and fund pro-abortion campaigns in sub Saharan Africa, according to Right to Life UK. The pro-life organization also reports that international abortion providers MSI Reproductive Choices (previously Marie Stopes International) and International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) will be implementing partners.  
The abortion initiative is detailed in ‘International Women and Girls Strategy 2023–2030‘ which states that one of its goals is to “prioritise the often-neglected issue of safe abortion”. 
The governments’ press release explains the elevated and integrated importance of abortion in the UK’s foreign policy stating that “this is the first international Women and Girls Strategy that brings together all the UK’s development and diplomacy work”.  In the forward of the Strategy, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly explains that the Strategy is “about education, health and reproductive rights.”
Along with the strategy, a new women’s ‘sexual and reproductive health and rights program’ with funding of £38 million will go to ‘women’s rights organizations (WROs)’ and movements around the world that are advancing the radical pro-abortion agenda. £33 million of the funding is for a new partnership with the Canadian-based activist group Equality Fund. Up to £5 million will go to a consortium led by Gender Links, a South African-based organization. The Equality Fund works to create “a sustainable and predictable source of support for women’s organizations and movements in the Global South” with the slogan, “Accelerate the power of women, girls, and trans people everywhere”.
Right to Life UK reports that the Equality Fund supports a campaign called “WE-Change”, which operates in the Caribbean and “has been working on revamping their abortion advocacy to focus on informing the public on abortions…” while ‘Gender Links’ has campaigns throughout the southern Africa to promote abortion and/or expand existing abortion access in at least 13 countries including Botswana, Malawi, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. 
Right To Life UK spokesperson Catherine Robinson said, “The Government’s use of taxpayers’ money for overseas abortion is an outrage. Not only is there a cost of living crisis but abortion does nothing for women or their children. Our Government is continuing to perpetuate the lie that women’s flourishing is directly opposed to that of their own babies, and is promoting this lie in developing countries.” 
Defending Life

Pro-Life Lawmakers Protest the Inter-American Court

Pro-life lawmakers from Costa Rica and other countries in Latin America made their opposition known to the Inter-American Court for Human Rights for exceeding its authority on abortion. During the hearing on the Beatriz v. El Salvador abortion case, a pro-life petition, organized by the Ibero-American Congress for Life and Family, and signed by 325 lawmakers from Costa Rica, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Argentina, Paraguay, Mexico, Uruguay, Bolivia, Peru, and Honduras was delivered. The petition affirms the preeminence of the American Convention on Human Rights which recognizes in Article 4 that the right to life shall be protected by law and, in general, from the moment of conception.
The lawmakers seek to protect the sovereignty of their countries to determine national laws on abortion and are deeply concerned that if the Court rules in favor of the pro-abortion complainants in Beatriz it would set a precedent that has been considered "the Latin American Roe vs. Wade" .
Following the hearing, Costa Rican Deputy David Segura introduced legislation to ensure Costa Rica’s sovereignty stating, “We are not going to allow the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to trample on Costa Rican sovereignty any more. The decriminalization of abortion and other human rights issues should be widely discussed in the Congresses of each country, especially Costa Rica, and it should never be an imposition by any body.”

Marches for Life

March was filled with an outpouring of support for protection of unborn children from the violence of abortion. A number of pro-life marches took place on the solemnity of the Annunciation and the Incarnation of Christ in the womb of the Virgin Mary celebrated as the Day of the Unborn Child. Large pro-life marches were held in Argentina, Ecuador, and Peru. Australia celebrated a Day of the Unborn Child with a procession of thousands to NSW Parliament House led by Archbishop Anthony Fisher.
Thousands turned out for a Yes to Life march in Madrid, Spain expressing opposition to “all laws and practices that threaten life and human nature at any moment of its existence, as well as the businesses and ideologies that sustain them.” The event included the testimonies of two women who found help from pro-lifers when they were about to have an abortion. 
Pro-life organizations in Portugal held 8 Walks for Life in the cities Aveiro, Braga, Coimbra, Évora, Guarda, Lisbon, Porto and Viseu according to Walk For Life.
Belfast held its first pro-life rally since abortion was imposed by the UK and marked the 25th anniversary year of the Good Friday Agreement. Precious Life spokesperson Bernadette Smyth told the crowds, “This is the first major pro-life event here since Westminster forced abortion on Northern Ireland in 2020. We’re here today to show that we still demand our unborn babies be protected.”
Romania and Moldova held pro-life activities in over 1,100 localities where March is celebrated as the Month for Life. The 2023 theme was “The future is pro-life” designed “to raise awareness and engage participants and society in building a pro-life future – a future in which every pregnant woman in need will be supported to give birth to her children and in which the life of every born and unborn child will be valued fully, regardless of age or health status, whether boy or girl.”
Read more here.

Ugandan MP Denounces Aid Tied to Abortion

During a visit to Uganda, Conservative Canadian MP Garnett Genuis, Shadow Minister for International Development, asked Parliament’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development how Canada could ensure that its development assistance best serves the needs of local communities instead of “bringing in predetermined western priorities.” 
In response, Ugandan MP Lucy Akello denounced foreign assistance that is tied to the promotion of abortion saying no matter how much money is spent on making abortion look good, Ugandans will see through the money and marketing arguing that an “overwhelming majority” of Africans believe that abortion is “morally unacceptable.” 
Akello explained to the Canadian minister, “Almost 80% of African countries have some sort of law prohibiting and restricting abortion. And it is predicted on a widely held belief that unborn babies have a right to live and deserve to be protected by law.”
She condemned foreign assistance that is tied to abortion calling it a type of “colonization,” where Western countries impose their views on nations in the developing world. Akello continued, “Africa has a long history of colonization, just like Canada– of people, foreign governments, foreign-led organizations telling us what is good for us or what our priorities should be.”

MP Akello recommended that the Canadian government spend more resources keeping “the girl child at school as opposed to giving them contraceptives” and that Canada ought to respect Uganda’s sovereignty.
Legislative News

U.S.: Pro-Life Members Call out ACOG for Excluding Pro-Life Doctors

Republican lawmakers have criticized the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) for banning pro-life physicians from participating in a conference. Reps. Chris Smith of New Jersey, Virginia Foxx of North Carolina, Chip Roy of Texas, and Diana Harshbarger of Tennessee sent a letter calling out the organization for excluding the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, despite its involvement in the conference for fifteen years. "The reported decision by ACOG — an organization purporting to represent all obstetrician–gynecologists — to exclude qualified health care professionals of maternal and child care from presenting at an annual conference because of their pro-life positions is hypocritical and outrageous," said the representatives. "ACOG makes no secret of its extreme abortion agenda."

Norway: Liberal Party Proposes Making Abortion a Constitutional Right

Norway’s liberal Venstre Party is pushing to enshrine the right to abortion in the constitution but pro-life and Christian groups are pushing back. Olaug Bollestad, leader of the Norwegian Christian Democratic Party criticized that Venstre “ignores the child’s human dignity and legal protection,” and instead called for a constitutional article that says: “Human dignity must be inviolable, and everyone has the right to bodily integrity from conception to natural death.”
The proposed legislation would change the current law which permits abortion under legislative authority to make it a constitutional right. "There must never be any doubt about pregnant women's right to free, self-determined abortion in Norway. To protect the pregnant woman's freedom to choose for herself, the principle should be enshrined in the Constitution without too much room for interpretation", states the legislation. The bill must pass two parliamentary rounds. 

Poland: Parliament Votes Against Pro-Life Bill

The Polish parliament rejected a bill to limit abortion in the pro-life country. Conservative members cited the upcoming national elections as a deterrent to taking up the “Abortion is murder” bill at this time. “This is not the moment to deal with issues that generate unnecessary emotions and social divisions. There is a war abroad, a myriad of challenges in international policy and economic policy at home, and that is what we are focusing on now,” said Rafał Bochenek, spokesperson for the ruling PiS party.

UK: MPs Call for More Abortion on International Woman’s Day

On International Women’s Day, pro-abortion MPs called for increased access to abortion, even up until birth. During parliamentary debate, MPs Jackie Doyle-Price and Dame Diana Johnson urged the removal of the current safeguard requiring two doctors to approve an abortion. Doyle-Price called for a “review… [to] highlight how the current abortion law is not fit for purpose.” Sir Peter Bottomley added the increased number of abortions as a reason for removing safeguards: “Can I put it to my hon. Friend that, given that it is now so common and that there are over 200,000 abortions a year in this country—it takes two to tango, so that is 400,000 people contributing, some perhaps more than once, but not many—we ought to make it easier?” Abortion statistics for 2021 in England and Wales recorded the highest numbers of abortion ever.
Right To Life UK spokesperson Catherine Robinson responded to the parliamentary debate: “That is over 200,000 unique and irreplaceable lives lost to abortion and what is this Conservative MP’s answer? Not introducing measures to lower the number of abortions but instead telling Parliament it should be made easier to end lives through abortion. The shockingly high abortion rates in England and Wales should be a source of concern. The correct response should be alarm and a serious discussion about how these numbers can be brought down, not how it can be made even easier to have an abortion.” 
Executive News

France: President Macron Announces Push to Make Abortion a Constitutional Right

French President Emmanuel Macron announced a push to make abortion a constitutional right on International Woman’s Day. “Progress made through parliamentary talks initiated by the National Assembly and informed by the Senate would allow, I hope, to inscribe this freedom in our founding text through a bill amending our constitution introduced in the coming months,” said Macron. The proposed legislation was celebrated by activist groups but faces an uphill battle. While both parliamentary chambers have recently approved bills to add abortion to the constitution, they did so on very different terms. The president has indicated his bill would also include institutional reform, which increases the controversy. “It seems completely unrealistic,” explained Benjamin Morel, a public law professor at the University of Paris-Panthéon-Assas. “The conditions for amending the constitution have never been less favourable since 1962. The Senate and the National Assembly currently exhibit different political colours, and the presidential party doesn’t even have an absolute majority in the Assembly. When Nicolas Sarkozy amended the constitution in a significant way in 2008, despite having a relatively large majority in the Senate and Assembly on his side, the bill passed by a single vote.” 

Italy: First Female Prime Minister Condemns Abortion

Italy first female prime minister Giorgia Meloni has condemned abortion and said the government will provide women financial support so they do “not miss out on the joy of raising a child.” Italian law permits abortion on demand in the first 90 days of gestation, but it is not certain that the new prime minister will seek to change laws. Breitbart reported that, “Meloni, while a Catholic, has promised that she would not crack down on abortion in the country, though has reportedly expressed the desire to see alternatives offered to women wherever possible.” During her campaign, Prime Minister Meloni vowed, “We will defend the value of the human being. Because each of us has a unique genetic code that is unrepeatable, and, like it or not, that is sacred. We will defend it. We will defend God, country and family.” 

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

In this issue

Access to Abortion Prioritized in U.S. and EU Gender Equity and Equality Reports 
EU Report on Gender Equality Falsely Equates Dobbs with Iran and the Taliban 
Biden Reports on Access to Abortion in Gender Equity and Equality Report 
International Pressure for Abortion
Inter-American Court Hears Abortion Case 
Access to Abortion in Biden’s Budget  
Biden Highlights Abortion Support on International Women’s Day 
International Women’s Day—Attacks on Churches in Latin America 
UK Announces New Funding for Abortion on International Women’s Day 
Defending Life
Pro-Life Lawmakers Protest the Inter-American Court  
Marches for Life 
Ugandan MP Denounces Aid Tied to Abortion 
Legislative News
U.S.: Pro-Life Members Call out ACOG for Excluding Pro-Life Doctors 
Norway: Liberal Party Proposes Making Abortion a Constitutional Right 
Poland: Parliament Votes Against Pro-Life Bill  
UK: MPs Call for More Abortion on International Women’s Day 
Executive News 
France: President Macron Announces Push to Make Abortion a Constitutional Right 
Italy: First Female Prime Minister Condemns Abortion
Visit us on the web! has been updated with expanded information on Human Dignity and critical issues including: Abortion, Bioethics, Child Mortality, End of life issues, Infanticide, Maternal mortality and Sex-selective abortion.
Contact PNCI
Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues
P.O. Box 20203
 Washington, DC 20041
PNCI is a global outreach of Gospel of Life Ministries.

All news articles include links to original source. PNCI cannot verify that the information contained in the news articles is accurate.