Parliamentary Network E-News

Volume 6
No. 3
March, 2012
 
International Pressure for Abortion
New Climate Change Alliance to Advance Reproductive Health
Population control organizations are attempting to grab onto the "climate change" banner to advance their agenda. Two recent meetings demonstrate this growing strategy as the world prepares for the Rio+20 global meeting of the United Nations on sustainable development in Rio de Janeiro from June 20-22. A panel discussion called "The Road to Rio: Climate Change, Population and Sustainability," organized by The Aspen Institute in Washington, DC, brought together leaders in environment, sustainability and women's rights to discuss new approaches to sustainable development claiming that 215 million women worldwide "lack access to reproductive health services and information."

 

One panelist, pro-abortion activist Mary Robinson-former President of Ireland and founder of the Mary Robinson Foundation: Climate Justice- stated, "The environmental and reproductive health activists must move forward together and create a more just future for all." Carmen Barroso- Regional Director of abortion provider International Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere Region- elaborated, "It is also about human rights and social justice. Relatively inexpensive policies to provide comprehensive sexuality education and access to contraception can meet the basic human right to decide how many children to have."

 

Moderator of the panel, Peggy Clark- executive director of Aspen Global Health and Development and vice president of Policy Programs at The Aspen Institute- added that the audience wanted to hear answers from the panelists as to "why reproductive rights for women have slid backward over the last generation". She reflected personally, "When I look at my 18-year-old daughter, I see that we have lost ground, and reproductive health is not a mainstream issue."

 

A similarly themed meeting was held at The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. entitled "Women's Health: Key to Climate Adaptation Strategies"  and included a presentation entitled "Finding the Entry Points" by Kavita Ramdas, Executive Director for Program on Social Entrepreneurship, Stanford University. Ramdas lamented that climate specialists are not engaged in population issues: "Among climate specialists, understanding of population dynamics remains limited". She reasoned that one of the reasons for this lack of involvement is that climate specialists "Assume that 'doing something' about population requires limiting people's rights."

 

Daniel Schensul- Technical Specialist in the office of Climate Change for the Population and Development Branch of UNFPA- presented on "Population Dynamics, Reproductive health and Climate Change". 

 

Schensul stated: "UNFPA is working with partners to establish a nuanced, evidence-based, and human-rights based perspective on the operational links between population, reproductive health and climate change." He included the goal "universal access to reproductive health" and stated that Rio+20 is a "key avenue" to link reproductive health to the environment.

 

PNCI suggests that pro-abortion activists do indeed realize that they are indeed losing ground with their tired arguments in favor of abortion--including the falsehood that legalizing abortion saves women's lives--and are as pushing the "reset button" to focus on new arguments including climate change and the environment. In addition, PNCI is mindful that the term "reproductive health" is a highly contentious and potentially dangerous term with no international consensus or agreement on its definition and urges definitive language when using the term to exclude abortion.

Ipas: Training in Central America to Promote Abortion as a Human Right

Abortion provider and promoter Ipas is highlighting one of its strategies for promoting abortion in Central America- training health care providers. Ipas explains: "Restrictive government policies, lack of trained health-care providers, conservative Catholic values and stigma surrounding sexuality and abortion all combine to deprive women of desperately needed sexual and reproductive health care in Central America. Ipas' "trainings of trainers" is one way the organization works in the region to raise awareness of how sexual and reproductive health and rights are fundamental human rights-and to improve access to care as a result."

 

A key component of the 3-day workshop in Nicaragua was to challenge religious and cultural values that protect children in the womb from the violence of abortion in an attempt to remove the "stigma" of abortion. Participants from Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua were instructed that abortion is a "sexual and reproductive right" that is "globally accepted" as a human right.

WomenCare Global to Distribute Abortion Drug in Africa and Europe

UK-based WomanCare Global has announced it will now be distributing mifepristone in seven European countries and seven African countries, expanding marketing for the abortion drug to an estimated 55 million women. WomenCare Global intends to sell, market, train and distribute the European-approved mifepristone, manufactured by Linepharma, as a single pill to perform medical abortion in conjunction with a prostaglandin. The two drug regime is most often referred to as RU 486. WomenCare Global was established by Ipas in 2009 and markets hand held abortion devices known as manual vacuum aspirators under the category "pregnancy management".

Legislators
Tanzania: Pro-Abortion NGOs Draft Safe Motherhood Bill
Pro-abortion NGOs Care International, Tanzania Women Lawyers Association and White Ribbon Alliance have been credited for drafting the Safe Motherhood Bill in Tanzania. The legislation, the result of discussions held at stakeholders meetings on safe motherhood held over the past year, was developed and introduced quietly. Emil Hagamu, Human Life International's Regional Coordinator for English-Speaking Africa, criticized the bill, saying it would create abortion on demand by expanding the exceptions for when abortion is permitted. The bill "undermines and bypasses African culture and moral values," said Hagamu. Tanzania is under strong international pressure from UN agencies for perceived high population growth and consistently faces criticism for the "pandemic of unsafe abortion". The Safe Motherhood Bill awaits consideration by Tanzania's National Assembly.   
US: House Committee Advances Bill Banning Abortion for Race, Gender

The U.S. House Judiciary Committee approved the Prenatal Non-Discrimination Act (PRENDA) by a vote of 20-13. PRENDA, H.R. 1822, would prohibit abortions based on the sex or race of the baby and prevent the coercion of a woman to get an abortion. The legislation, introduced by Rep. Trent Franks, chairman of the Judiciary Committee Constitution Subcommittee, is a response to the growing awareness of the practice of sex-selection abortion in the United States. Evidence has demonstrated a strong "son son bias" in certain American communities and shown minority babies are aborted at five times the rate of white babies. "The effort of this bill here is to simply say that we cannot discriminate against unborn children subjected to abortion," said Franks. The bill now awaits consideration of the full House of Representatives.

Judicial News
Scotland: Court Rules Against Midwives' Conscientious Objection to Abortion
A Scottish court has ruledagainst the conscience rights of two senior midwives who it says must oversee the administration of abortions. The midwives, 20 year veterans of a Scotland hospital serving thousands of mothers and babies, were told by the hospital in 2008 they were to participate in mid- and late-term abortions that were to occur in the labor ward. They protested the hospital's directive violated their conscientious objection to abortion which is protected by the 1967 Abortion Act. Lady Smith of the Court of Sessions in Edinburgh ruled the role of the midwives were not covered by the Abortion Act and they must comply with the hospital's orders. Paul Tully with the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) commented on the ruling, "We are very disappointed by the judgment. SPUC has supported the midwives in bringing their case, and will now be considering their further legal options with them."
Executive News
Kenya: Doctors Call for Guidelines on "Safe Abortion"
News reports state that physicians with the Kenya Obstetrical and Gynaecological Society and Reproductive Health and Rights Alliance are calling on the government to advance so-called "safe abortion" based on the abortion provisions in the new constitution and "create an enabling environment for the public to be sensitised on the subject, which has for long been controversial". Kenya's 2010 constitution recognizes that life begins at conception and permits abortion when "in the opinion of a trained health professional, there is need for emergency treatment, or the life or health of the mother is in danger, or if permitted by any other written law."

 

The pro-abortion alliance is urging the government not only to adopt new regulations to provide access for abortion but to create a public awareness campaign on the new "legality" of abortion to lessen opposition. Using the maternal mortality argument, they assert, "It is of paramount importance that health providers and Kenyans in general understand the implications of the constitution in order to help avert more deaths arising from unsafe abortions".

Issues
UK: Investigation Launched Into the Practice of Sex-Selection Abortion
The UK Department of Health has launched an investigation into allegations of doctors permitting illegal sex-selection abortions. An undercover report by the Daily Telegraph recorded doctors agreeing to abort babies due to their sex, and, the newspapers alleges, falsify documents to arrange the abortions. Concerned by the report, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has launched an investigation. "I'm extremely concerned to hear about these allegations. Sex selection is illegal and is morally wrong," he said.
Ethics Paper Advances "After-birth Abortion"

A recent paper, "After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?", appears in the electronic version of the Journal of Medical Ethics and deserves careful scrutiny as it uses pro-abortion arguments to support infanticide.  This disturbing concept asserts that children in the womb and newborns are both "potential persons" and that the lives of both can be ended for the same reasons. Italian philosopher Alberto Giubilini and ethicist Dr. Francesca Minerva, working in Australia, claim that newborns--just like children in the womb--are not yet persons and consequently, without rights or interests. They assert that "after-birth abortion" should be permissible if the parents believe it is in their best interest.

 

The paper states, "We claim that killing a newborn could be ethically permissible in all the circumstances where abortion would be. Such circumstances include cases where the newborn has the potential to have an (at least) acceptable life, but the well-being of the family is at risk." The authors seek to deny the humanity of the newborn and the horror of unlimited child destruction by use of the term "after-birth abortion." In regard to the point at which the authors do consider newborns to be "persons" and worthy of a right to life, Giubilini and Minerva defer to neurologists and psychologists and suggest delaying recognition of rights until the point the baby becomes what they label "self-conscious".   

 

The anti-child and anti-life reasoning exhibited in "After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?" is deeply disturbing to all those who respect the lives of each and every uniquely created individual. The authors ignore all science and data that increasingly reveal the wonders of life in the womb and the personality of the developing child. The fact that unborn children and newborns are capable of feeling pain completely escapes their attention.

 

PNCI hopes that many of those who read the paper will see that not only is infanticide unbridled destruction of children, but so is abortion.


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

Honduras: Supreme Court Approves Ban on Morning after Pill

 
The Honduran Supreme Court has ruled a ban on "emergency contraception" is constitutional. A 2009 law had outlawed the "morning after pill", in keeping with the country's constitution. Article 65 states "the right to life is inviolable" and article 67 states "the unborn are considered to have been born in everything that favors them, within the limits established by law". Then president José Manuel Zelaya had vetoed the legislation, sending it to the Supreme Court. The Court's ruling approving the ban on "emergency contraception" will allow the legislature to enact laws to further protect the unborn.

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www.PNCIUS.org 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.
 
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