Parliamentary Network E-News

Volume 4
No. 12
December, 2010
 
International Pressure for Abortion
Pro-Abortion NGO Touts its Successes in Latin America and Africa, Including Changing Kenya's Constitution

Ipas, a US non-governmental organization which trains health care workers in abortion and markets its signature product, the hand held abortion suction device known as the MVA, targets policy makers, especially health ministries, to advance access to abortion. In its end of the year report Ipas takes credit for the following pro-abortion actions:

 

Kenya: Adopting a new pro-abortion constitution

Ipas acknowledges its role in securing passage of a new constitution and states "By adding a "health" indication for abortion, the language in the constitution allows for greatly expanded access to safe [abortion] services". During the campaign for the constitution pro-life advocates, including religious leaders, were accused of lying when they correctly stated that the new constitution would open the door to abortion.  Now Ipas admits that the new constitution does allow for a broad health exception and further states that it will work with Ministry of Health officials in Kenya to "ensure that the new language is implemented, despite efforts by the anti-choice movement to have it removed." 

 

Nigeria: Coalition building to overturn Nigeria's pro-life restrictions

Ipas admits to working to overturn pro-life restrictions on abortion as part of a coalition to pass a women's rights bill that included abortion provisions on the national level and in 12 Nigerian states. Ipas also states it "reached out to medical students to engage them in the issue, resulting in a call for abortion law reform from their association."

 

Bolivia: Drafting a New Abortion Law

Ipas has been active in Bolivia for a number of years and its actions resluted in "approval of misoprostol for all ob-gyn indications, including abortion; enforcement of a long-ignored legal provision permitting abortion in cases of rape; and, most importantly, a request to Ipas from the government drafting committee to propose language in the new penal code to liberalize the existing abortion law."

 

Uruguay: Set up an abortion protocol

Ipas established and tested a government protocol to advise women before and after abortion despite the fact that abortion is not permitted by law. Women were instructed on the use of misoprostol for abortion and advised to go to government hospitals for post abortion care. The model was shared with Ipas' network in Argentina, Ecuador, and El Salvador.

 

Argentina: Helped set up an abortion hotline despite law against abortion

Ipas states that it "Supported a partner organization in Argentina to operate a hotline that provided more than 3,000 callers with accurate information on abortion. Because of this effort, the organization also established a network of doctors and hospitals where women can be referred for safe services."

Parliamentarians Forum in Asia Promotes Abortion

The Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (AFPPD) announced a new publication, "Maternal Health - An Advocacy Guide for Parliamentarians " which states "Laws that give access to quality universal maternal care and reproductive health (including family planning and safe abortions) are needed". AFPPD works closely with UNFPA and urges parliamentarians to "Support laws to decriminalize abortion and give greater access to safe abortion services which have been shown to save more maternal lives." The guide is filled with pro-abortion propaganda and false statements about abortion reducing maternal deaths. 

 

Values that respect the lives of children in the womb are discounted and categorized as "judgmental" especially when held by health workers. The guide states: "Conservative and judgmental attitudes of health care providers push young women to seek abortion services illegally with quack practitioners. To save these lives policymakers must give women knowledge about what is allowed by law and how to get access to safe abortion/post abortion services."

 

Laws that modestly restrict abortion are criticized, especially those affecting adolescents, "Some governments have tried to remove parental/family consent as a prerequisite for adolescent mothers to seek reproductive health services. Thus services have to be adolescent/youth friendly in order to increase their access." AFPPD is working to advance its agenda among young Asian lawmakers and in cooperation with UNFPA recently organized a "Young Parliamentarians Conference Consultation on ICPD issues" in Bangkok.   

Pro-Abortion Activists Seek to Weaken US Helms Amendment

Nearly a year after the reversal by President Obama of the Mexico City Policy which restricted US funds to international organizations that perform or promote abortion, pro-abortion activists have set their sights on the 1973 Helms Amendment which prohibits the use of US funds for the perfor­mance of abortion "as a method of family planning" or to "motivate or coerce any person to practice abortions." 

 

Pro-abortion organizations seek the re-interpretation the Helms Amendment by USAID since the law can only be repealed by Congress and not reversed by Presidential Directive. Ipas states in a policy paper, "Action to repeal the Helms amendment is urgently needed... In the meantime, the Obama Administration must issue clarifying guidance to mitigate the harm of the law." In plain language, Ipas and other pro-abortion organizations want the Obama Administration to re-interpret the Helms Amendment to allow for increased funding of abortion globally and the purchasing of abortion devices and supplies.

 

The most recent step in building a case against the Helms Amendment focuses on abortion access in Nepal, a key pro-abortion target, which legalized abortion on demand in 2002Ipas complains: "The NFHP [Nepal Family Health Program} and its recipients and partners, because they receive funding from USAID, must be compliant with limitations based on a restrictive interpretation of the Helms amendment stipulating that funds provided by USAID for health, family planning and population are prohibited from being used to promote or provide abortion services. In addition, the NFHP supports the National Safe Motherhood and Neonatal Subcommittee of the Ministry of Health. As a result, abortion related information has been excluded from Safe Motherhood information and national guidelines on family planning." 

 

PNCI hopes the Helms Amendment is strictly adhered to in US development aid as is the intent of the law. 

Pro-Life News
British Royal: "The practice of abortion is a mortal wound in Europe's heart"

Lord Nicholas Windsor, first male blood member of the British royal family to be received into the Catholic Church since King Charles II on his deathbed in 1685 has called abortion of unborn children "the single most grievous moral deficit in contemporary life".


The great-grandson of King George V penned the essay "Caesar's Thumb: Europeans should not forget their most pressing moral issue: abortion" in the December edition of First Things, and reflects on modern European society's acceptance of abortion. He rightfully recognizes the role of elected leaders in enabling the destruction of abortion and challenges the political establishment to recognize that abortion is "one of the gravest and most egregious abuses of human rights that human society has ever tolerated". He confronts the embedding of abortion in modern culture which has rendered abortion to be "normalized" and "invisible to politics in Europe" and continues to state that abortion "has become the first taboo of the culture."

Israel: Chief Rabbis Make Pro-life Plea

Yona Metzger and Shlomo Amar, the chief rabbis in Israel, have issued a renewed pro-life appeal against what they describe as an "abortion epidemic" in Israel. In a letter to all rabbis across Israel they urged religious leaders to inform citizens of Israel of the "biblical prohibition to kill fetuses in their mothers' wombs". They restated their effort to more effectively and strategically combat the approximately 50,000 abortions that take place in Israel annually and said Jewish law prohibits abortions except in the very rare circumstances of a pregnancy directly threatening the life of the mother.

 

The Chief Rabbinate of Israel said that abortion kills thousands of Israeli babies a year and promised to do more to promote pro-life and to offer help to pregnant women. They said, "The vast majority of abortions are unnecessary and strictly forbidden according to Halacha [the collective body of Jewish law] because they are carried out even when the pregnancies do not endanger the mother's health." In addition, they stated that abortions for socioeconomic reasons or if the mother does not want the baby are delaying the coming of the Messiah.

Legislative News
Canada: Parliament Fails to Ban Coercive Abortion

The Canadian parliament defeated a pro-life bill in its first vote on abortion related legislation in 20 years. In a second reading, Bill C-510 criminalizing the use of coercion in abortion was defeated by a vote of 178 to 97, twenty votes more in favor of the bill than sponsor MP Rod Bruinooge had expected. Bruinooge, a leader of the Canadian pro-life caucus, sponsored Roxanne's Law to empower pregnant women by prohibiting the use of coercion- physical and financial- for abortion. "Within our society there is a culture that suggests that abortion is really a procedure that is no different than any other medical procedure," Mr. Bruinooge said. "However, it's my contention that the procedure impacts women in significant ways - and so applying pressure to a woman to end the life of her child is wrong and the law has to make that clear." The legislation was named for a 24 year-old woman, Roxanne Fernando, who was murdered in 2007 after refusing to have an abortion.

 

While the bill was defeated, the debate in parliament in favor of the legislation was strong and so compelling that very few MPs offered any opposing arguments. Pro-life MPs used the opportunity to voice their concern for pregnant women facing violence and coercion to abort their child. Prime Minister Stephen Harper voted against the bill, refusing to open discussion on abortion.

Belgium: Parliamentarians Introduce Legislation to Expand Euthanasia

Legislation to permit the euthanasia of people suffering from dementia and for minors as young as 12 has been introduced in the Belgian House of Representatives. The bill's sponsors argue for an advanced directive to end the patient's life when s/he reaches a predetermined stage, regardless of the status of the patient's ability to consent at the time of euthanasia. The same members have authored the bill for the euthanasia of minors, in which case the parents and medical team, in consultation with the child, can request euthanasia, unless the child lacks the power of discernment, then the parents can make the request. The legislation also attacks conscientious objection, saying a doctor unwilling to kill the patient would be obligated to transfer him/her to a physician who would. 

Judicial News
European Court Issues Abortion Ruling

The European Court of Human Rights upheld the right of individual states to determine sovereign laws on abortion and ruled that the European Convention on Human Rights does not contain a right to abortion.  The Court issued its judgment in a case, known as ABC, filed by three women from Ireland who claimed that Ireland violated Article 8 (right to private and family life) of the European Convention on Human Rights by not allowing abortion in Ireland.

 

The Court recognized that Ireland, and all European member states, have the authority to make sovereign decisions on abortion laws. This is especially welcome and encouraging news to pro-life parliamentarians in Europe who seek to advance respect and dignity for life through law and policy. While the Court instructed Ireland that it must pay the third applicant 15,000 euros (EUR) in damages for failure to offer adequate recourse for the decision to seek an abortion under a claim of life of the mother exception, pro-life legal experts state that the Court misinterpreted the Irish Constitution in regards to abortion.

Issues
Video: Chile, the Miners, and Respect for Life
A new video showcases Chile as a model of a nation that protects the lives of all its members, including the unborn. The successful rescue of 33 miners trapped underground for 69 days brought a great deal of attention to the country. The video, entitled "Chile, the Miners, and Respect for Human Life" highlights the Chilean miners as well as two government television ads promoting a program to protect young children from the violence of abortion. The ads act as a window to the life of the child in the womb who shares his/her mother 's daily experiences. Chile, which prohibits all abortion and recognizes the rights of unborn children, also boasts the region's lowest maternal mortality rate.
Italian Neonatologist Devoted to Fetal Pain Research Expresses Concern

Dr. Carlo Bellieni, a neonatal doctor in Siena, Italy has spent twenty years studying preborn and newborn babies, with a particular focus on their senses and ability to feel pain. Despite numerous scientific findings pointing to the unborn/newborn child's heightened sense of pain, Dr. Bellieni explains, research is still minimal because these little people are treated like second-class citizens by many in society and denied the dignity of personhood. "In sum," he said, "they deny that someone who does not have self-awareness can feel pain." Dr. Bellieni warns of the expansion of this mentality to the mentally handicapped and those suffering dementia. He urges that regardless of a fetus or disabled person's state of self-awareness, these persons are a member of the human race and should be afforded their basic rights.  


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

Jim Caviezel: Abortion is the Highest Level of Evil

 

Actor Jim Caviezel, best known for his portrayal of Jesus Christ in the movie "Passion of the Christ" recently called abortion "the greatest moral defect of the western world". In a recent interview, Caviezel described how abortion takes the violence of war to the highest level of evil: "when the mother herself kills her son she goes against her own nature, against her own instinct.  People talk about 'choice', but when a woman does that, when she destroys the life of her unborn child, then we have arrived at the limit.  The level cannot go higher regarding evil." Caviezel went on to warn against the effects of high abortion rates on future populations as declining demographics will lead to an increase of euthanasia. 


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