Parliamentary Network E-News

Volume 8
No. 8
September, 2014
 


In Memoriam

Pro-life champion Jim Dobbin, M.P., U.K.

  

PNCI expresses profound sorrow at the death of pro-life champion Jim Dobbin, Member of the House of Commons.  

 

The sudden passing of this pro-life champion while on a parliamentary trip to Poland on behalf of the Council of Europe is mourned by pro-life parliamentarians and advocates around the world. Jim Dobbin sought to advance respect for life from conception to natural death as co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Pro-Life Group and as vice-chair of the Cross-Party Working Group on Human Dignity.  

 

He embraced his political office, at times using it along with his background in microbiology, to passionately and effectively argue against the manipulation and destruction of human embryos and the creation of animal-human hybrids. Jim Dobbin was committed to his faith and did not hesitate to vote his conscience.

 

Tributes include the following:

"In the House of Commons he was respected on all sides as a principled man who stood up for his deeply held beliefs rather than blindly following the dog whistle of party politics. Throughout his political life he was given unswerving support by his redoubtable wife, Pat, who shared his causes and convictions with equal passion. Their love and commitment to one another gave Jim great strength. Pat and their family will be devastated by Jim's sudden death and his friends will be holding them all in their thoughts and prayers. May he rest in peace." Lord David Alton, House of Lords

 

"Jim's passing is a great loss to the defence of human dignity, not just in Britain but also in Europe.  I had the honour to serve with Jim in the Parliamentary Assembly for the Council of Europe where his unwavering commitment to the defence of life, human dignity and freedom of religion could always be relied upon. There a few enough Christian politicians of conviction in today's age, Jim's passing leaves a great void to be filled.  My thoughts and prayers are with his wife Pat and their children." Luca Volonte, Chairman Dignitatis Humanae Institute

 

"Jim Dobbin has been a stalwart servant of this country throughout his long life, especially in his Parliamentary career. His service was particularly robust and persevering in matters concerning the fundamental dignity of every human life, from the moment of conception to its natural end. This is the most radical service than can be given, for once that fundamental respect for human life is lost, then society is dramatically weakened and the vulnerable put into real danger.

 

"We salute Jim's sterling work and thank God for the consistent witness he gave. In the phrase of Pope Francis, Jim was truly a missionary disciple in this land. May he rest in peace as he awaits the final resurrection of all things in the Lord."

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales  

 

International Pressure for Abortion

NGO Ipas Promotes Illegal Abortion Network in Mexico

While promoting access to abortion as a "reproductive right" at the United Nations and advocating for the elimination of pro-life laws, Ipas is also busy creating illegal abortion networks in Mexico. The work is based on an "accompaniment model" which pairs abortion seeking women with volunteers who guide a woman through the self-induced or do-it-yourself (DIY) abortion and is the subject of the documentary "Accompaniment" by Ipas partner Las Libres.

 

According to the Ipas website, "Ipas partner Las Libres has produced a short documentary film detailing its successful 'accompaniment model' that pairs women seeking medical abortion with women committed to accompanying others on a volunteer basis throughout the process of a safe abortion." (It is important to note that "safe" abortion in this context is illegal abortion or in Ipas terminology "outside the formal health system".) Las Libres Executive Director VerĂ³nica Cruz stated, "...we were tired of hearing that abortion is almost always a negative experience for women."

 

The network promoting the illegal destruction of children in the womb has been operating for a number of years in the Mexican state of Guanajuato where abortion is legally restricted and permitted only in the case of rape but where Ipas has trained volunteers on the use of abortion inducing pills for illegal DIY abortion. Volunteers accompany abortion-minded women to the pharmacy to buy the drug--usually Cytotec/Misoprostol--and tell her how to take the pills, calling or texting during the abortion process.

 

Las Libres's goal for the network is to change the cultural view of abortion by showing "the other face of abortion, the positive experience, the accompanied experience, the exercise of the human right of women to decide, and the accompaniment of women by other women who have lived the accompaniment process ... to see how after a safe abortion, accompanied, that woman, that couple or that family eliminates the stigma around abortion."

 

The film is expected to be shared "widely via social media, public screenings, university classes, conferences, partner organizations, and through the various accompaniment networks that already exist across Mexico" with the intent that the "film will help reduce the stigma surrounding abortion in Mexico and help viewers cultivate a new and more positive perspective on abortion." The NGOs hope that abortion activists in other countries will create their own illegal abortion networks.

 

PNCI notes that according to the Pew Global Views on Morality Survey, 63% of people in Mexico believe having an abortion is morally unacceptable.

Nepal: NGOs Push Abortion and Contraceptives on Impoverished Muslim Women

Muslim leaders in Nepal have spoken out against NGOs that are pushing abortion and contraceptives on the country's poorest citizens. Hassan Miya, a leader from the Banke district stated that the NGOs "impose contraception, abortion and family planning on Muslim women from the poorest districts. If these do not agree, they lose access to humanitarian aid and the ability to send their children to schools for free. This is really a despicable method that goes against our faith and exploits our poverty." Nepal's Health Minister, Gopal Parajuli, vowed to look into it further. "The free health and education programs should not affect the religious beliefs of anyone. I will open an investigation, also because NGOs can work only if they comply with the laws and are accepted by the society," he said.

IPPF: Film Series Seeks Support for Abortion

International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), a partner of UNFPA, has released a new film series that seeks to break "the stigma surrounding abortion" while increasing access to it around the world. The films feature the stories of women who have had abortion presenting values and laws against abortion as "misinformation and discrimination". IPPF says that globally, 60,000 women get secret and "unsafe" abortions each year because of national laws and social "stigmas" --in reality cultural and religious values that respect life from conception--but fails to address the growing promotion of illegal abortion by other NGOs including Ipas' work in Mexico.

 

IPPF's Director-General, Tewodros Melesse states, "Stigma is more than a barrier for a woman seeking an abortion. It can isolate them and deny them their right to the information, support and services they need to make an informed and empowered choice." However, the films and IPPF only push one "empowered choice" and fail to acknowledge the rights and dignity of the unborn daughters and sons destroyed in abortion.

 

At the United Nations IPPF is a leading promoter of abortion,which is included in its "package of essential services", and presented as both a "sexual and reproductive right", while IPPF works to advance international access to abortion. National laws against abortion are considered to be "barriers"; IPPF states: "These women's health and lives are put at risk, and they face the possibility of prosecution, because legal and social barriers prevent them from exercising their sexual and reproductive right to determine the outcome of their pregnancy."
Pro-Life News

South Sudan: Priest Working to Stop Illegal Abortions via Abortion Pills

An African Catholic priest is boldly speaking out in protest over the insidious use of abortion-inducing drugs for illegal abortion in his homeland of South Sudan.  Fr. John Ngbapia Bakiri Tomburo of the Catholic diocese of Tombura-Yambio explained his concerns in an interview during which he detailed the actions by international NGOs to promote, distribute and use abortion pills for illegal abortions, a tactic that is being repeated in pro-life countries around the world by organizations including Marie Stopes International and U.S. based Ipas.

 

The legal status of abortion does not prevent these NGOs and others from encouraging and instructing women in low resource areas to end the lives of their unborn children through use of pills which produce strong uterine contractions, often accompanied with blood loss, despite the fact that hemorrhage is a leading cause of maternal mortality in Africa and that this abortion technique has a high failure rate resulting in health complications for the woman.

 

NGOs deceive women in South Sudan and elsewhere telling them that the abortion procedure is similar to a spontaneous miscarriage and that "no one needs to know" that the mother herself ended the life of her own daughter or son in her own home. The drug must frequently used is misoprostol, the second drug in the RU 486 abortion regimen. The first drug, mifepristone, is not registered in many developing countries since its only use is that of abortifacient--stopping the flow of nutrients from the mother to her child resulting in the starvation of the child-so misoprostol alone is promoted for abortion.

 

Fr. John is a "David" taking on the "Goliath" of well-funded pro-abortion organizations to protect the lives of women and children in South Sudan from the violence of abortion. He heads up pro-life for the diocese and has established an Office of Family with branches in all parishes to teach women the dangers of the culture of death and the truth that "life is precious and that God created the human being and he wants life to be protected".
Legislative News

Ireland: Call for Referendum on Abortion

Irish politicians within the Labour and Fine Gael parties are calling for a new abortion referendum that is considered highly unlikely during the present Government. The referendum would delete Article 40.3.3 of the country's constitution, removing all protections for the unborn child paving the way for abortion on demand. This recent push to liberalize Ireland's law follows the controversial case of a pregnant woman who claimed to be suicidal but was denied an abortion and delivered the baby by Caesarean section at approximately 25 weeks gestation. The case is essentially the first test case of the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act of 2013 which allowed abortion in the case of a suicidal mother. As the baby now clings to life, abortion advocates are pointing to this case as a reason for abortion on demand.

 

Dr. Ruth Cullen with the Pro-Life Campaign called out the blatant disregard for the life that has been demonstrated by the media and abortion supporters. They have not only refused to acknowledge the existence of the fragile baby, whom pro-life groups have named "Hope", but they are also victimizing the mother. "The woman at the centre of this latest tragic case is deserving of every possible welcome, warmth and support but it does a grave disservice to her and to every other woman in the country for pro-choice advocates to claim abortion is a treatment for suicidal feelings when they know it is not," she said.

 

Additionally, nearly 900 doctors have now signed the Dublin Declaration, which declares that abortion is not needed to save women's lives. Dr. Eoghan de Faoite pointed to the importance of Ireland's pro-life laws. "Ireland's ban on abortion wasn't just something symbolic. It provided proof, if ever needed, that pro-life laws do not jeopardize women's health, but rather they encourage, and oblige, medical professionals to do everything they must do to save a woman's life in pregnancy and do everything he or she can do to also preserve the life of the baby." Dr de Faoite said the Dublin Declaration "is a hugely important tool for the global pro-life community and for the growing movement of doctors who recognize that every pregnancy has two patients that need to be cared for - mother and child."


France: Revised Law Officially Permits Abortion on Demand

A new law in France effectively makes abortion on demand the law of the land. Previously, abortion was legal only for women whose pregnancy put them in a "state of distress", after receiving counseling and information. However, the pro-life policies were never implemented and abortion was readily available. The new decision by the Council of State officially removing the "distress" requirement is mainly symbolic, pushed by women's minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem. Also included in the new law is a measure on the "law for real equality for women and men", which defines "real equality" to include when women can "fully control their own sexuality, in particular through access to contraception and voluntary 'interruption' of pregnancy." On the measure's July vote, not a single member of the National Assembly or Senate voted against it, though many in opposition abstained from the vote.    

China: Joint Government Effort to Combat Sex Selection and Abortion

It is reported that legislation is pending to ban prenatal sex determination and sex-selection abortion in an attempt to fix the significantly skewed sex ratio in China's population. In 2013 117 boys were born for every 100 girls, well above the average 103-107 boys born for every 100 girls. Four government agencies- the National Health and Family Planning Commission, the Ministry of Public Security, the State Administration for Industry & Commerce and the China Food and Drug Administration- joined together to create the Provisions on the Ban of Sex Appraisal for Fetuses for Non-Medical Reasons and Selective Abortion (Draft). The regulation prohibits the identification of the sex of an unborn baby and subsequent abortions for non-medical reasons. The provisions also establish a joint law enforcement system to implement the ban. 
Executive News

Malta: New President Says "I Will Never Legalize Abortion"

Newly elected Malta president Marie Louise Coleiro Preca has vowed she will not legalize abortion. She told the pro-life umbrella group Malta Unborn Child Movement (MUCM)- which represents 45 pro-life groups- that she is "personally dead set against" it and that she would never sign legislation to permit abortion. "The President said she wanted the widest possible backing to combat the pro-abortion culture," said group member Dr. Miriam Sciberras with Life Network. She added that the president's words were "an encouraging pro-life shield against the anti-life movement that is being forcefully promoted both locally and abroad." Malta is the last remaining pro-life country in the European Union which has not allowed abortion.
Judicial News

US: State Court Approves Ban on "Webcam" Abortions

An Iowa court has upheld a ban on "Webcam" abortions, ruling the Iowa Board of Medicine was within its rights to ban Planned Parenthood's distribution of abortion pills through a video conferencing system. Planned Parenthood's webcam abortions permit abortionists to distribute abortion pills remotely, the only interaction being an online video chat. The Board had argued that the lack of a physical exam of the woman fell below the standards of care, which the judge upheld. The pro-life victory was celebrated by Operation Rescue, which had exposed Planned Parenthood's use of and planned expansion of webcam abortions in 2010. Since, fourteen states have passed legislation requiring licensed physicians to dispense abortion pills. "Today represents a long awaited victory for women and their babies," said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue.

Belgium: Euthanasia Law Challenged After Death of Depressed Woman

Belgium's liberal euthanasia law is being challenged in court following the death of a women suffering from depression. The Alliance for Defending Freedom (ADF) brought the suit on behalf of a Belgian man, Dr Tom Mortier, whose mother was euthanized for "untreatable depression". Mortier's mother, Godelieva De Troyer, did not have a terminal illness but rather suffered from depression after a relationship break-up and from being distanced from family. Her request for euthanasia, while originally denied by her doctor Wim Distelmans, was later approved following a donation to Distelmans' organization End Life Information Forum. Dr Mortier was only notified the day after his mother's death. "People suffering from depression need compassion and love, not a prescription for death," says ADF lawyer Roger Kiska. "The state has a duty to put the necessary safeguards in place so that suffering patients receive adequate care from doctors and an opportunity to consult with family members."

Pro-Life One of Us Campaign Files Suit in EU Court

The European Union citizens' pro-life initiative "One of Us" has filed a court petition after its initiative was vetoed by the European Commission last spring. The petition, which calls for an end to the EU funding practices that destroy human embryos, is the largest citizens' petition in European history with two million signatures. Under the EU democratic process, a citizens' initiative with one million signatures is supposed be to be considered by the parliament, a process that was not followed for the One of Us petition. The suit against the European Commission, the Council of the EU and the European Parliament charges the Commission violated democratic processes by not presenting the petition to Parliament. "It is not only about the right to life, but firstly about democracy," said Gregor Puppinck, director of the European Centre for Law and Justice. The case awaits consideration by the General Court of the European Union.
Issues

India: Gender Imbalance Results in Bride Trafficking

The growing imbalanced sex-ratio in India from sex-selective abortion has led to a spike in the sex trafficking of women who are kidnapped and sold as brides. A recent CNN story highlights the devastating demographic effects of sex selection abortion in India, where the preference for boy babies has resulted in villages dominated by single men who often resort to buying a "bride" who in reality is likely to be a woman who was kidnapped or sold into trafficking. These women are often treated with disrespect and contempt.

 

According to census data, some villages have less than 800 girls born for every 1,000 boys. A Delhi gynecologist, Puneet Bedi, calls it "mass murder on an unprecedented scale." He calls for doctors to stop the practice of sex-selection stating, "The social fabric of society we accept as normal is unimaginable when a good 20 or 30% of the women are missing." The heart breaking accounts of families and individuals victimized by trafficking illustrate the dire consequences of a gender imbalance that will continue to grow as long as baby girls continue to be aborted.

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

UK: Photo of Premature Baby Challenges 24 Week Abortion Limit

 

 

A British mother has
released a photo of the birth of her daughter who was born prematurely at 24 weeks and passed hours later. Emily Caines and her husband Alastair want to raise awareness of neonatal death and seek to reopen debate on the 24 week legal abortion limit. "Our picture shows Adelaide was not a foetus, she was a fully formed human being and to think that a baby like her could be legally terminated is to me horrifying," says Caines.  

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