Parliamentary Network E-News

Volume 13
No. 5
May, 2019
 
Executive News
Foreign Policy: Trump and Pence vs Trudeau--Life vs Death
President Trump and Vice President Pence have strongly defended not only their belief that children in the womb and their mothers should be protected from the violence of abortion but their foreign policy seeks to fund international organizations that advance life-affirming solutions and non-violent health care services.
 
In contrast, Prime Minister Trudeau of Canada continues to not only express his unwavering support for the act of abortion- which seeks the death of a developing child- but has pledged $1.4 billion annually starting in 2023 to "support women and girls' health around the world" that includes $700 million a year for sexual and reproductive rights, including abortion.
 
According to his official press release, "This investment will advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, promote sexual and reproductive health rights, and build on Canada's leadership on global gender equality. The funding will help make sure women and girls around the world have access to the quality health services they need, including safe and legal abortion, and support women's right to make their own decisions about their bodies."
 
Trudeau explained that his government was "focusing on the most neglected areas of this field" as he announced the commitment during the gathering of leading pro-abortion activists and organizations at the Women Deliver 2019 Conference being held in Vancouver. His comments included, "Before we can even talk about girls' education, we have to talk about sexual, reproductive health rights."
 
The prime minister took exception to criticism from conservative party leaders"There are politicians here in Canada who have called our government's investments 'exporting an ideological agenda.' Well, we couldn't disagree more." Questions were also raised as to why Trudeau waited until only a few months before the country votes on its next prime minister to announce funding that will not be available until 2023.
 
Trudeau's funding pledge is welcome news to UNFPA and pro-abortion NGOs whose funding has suffered as a result of President Trump's pro-life foreign policy.
 
Trudeau has been critical of US pro-life policies and state legislative actions against abortion. Prior to his meeting with Vice President Pence to discuss trade, Trudeau stated, "Obviously I'm very concerned with the situation around the backsliding of women's rights that we're seeing from conservative movements here in Canada, in the United States and around the world. I will have a broad conversation with the Vice President in which of course that will come up."
 
During the joint press briefing following the trade talks, the vice president was asked, "How do you feel about the Prime Minister raising the issue of what he called a "backsliding" of abortion rights in your own country?"
 
Vice President Pence strongly defended the pro-life views of the administration stating, "I'm very proud to be part of a pro-life administration, and our administration has taken steps to stand for the sanctity of life at home and abroad.  What we find troubling is the Democratic Party in our country and leaders around the country supporting late-term abortion, even infanticide.  But those are debates within the United States, and I know that Canada will deal with those issues in a manner that the people of Canada determine most appropriate."
 
But for President Trump, for me, for our administration, we'll always stand for the right to life."
 
Pope Francis Addresses "Yes to Life!" Conference
The Vatican's Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life held an international conference"Yes to Life! Taking Care of the Precious Gift of Life in its Frailty" on the defense of nascent human life in extremely frail conditions to share models of care for families whose unborn child receives a life-limiting diagnosis and who are often pressured to abort the child. A theme of the conference was how "science and faith can be allies to accompany couples and families experiencing the birth of a child with serious illnesses or disabilities, because to accompany them with love is always possible."
 
Doctors and experts in perinatal care presented to attendees from 70 countries on how couples can be assisted from the medical perspective as well as offered spiritual consolation. Drs. Byron Calhoun and John Lantos explained the concept of perinatal hospices which treat the child as a true and proper patient to be treated in a multidimensional manner. Carlo V. Bellieni, an Italian neonatologist and bioethicist, addressed the issue of fetal pain. His update on research in this area confirms that the ability to experience pain begins at 20-22 weeks gestation and unborn babies undergoing surgery at or after this age should receive anesthesia.
 
Pope Francis addressed the conference with a message of support and understanding for families. He began by responding to the argument from the current "throw-away culture" that unborn children with a disability are "unfit for life". The pope said, "No human being can ever be unfit for life, whether due to age, state of health or quality of existence. Every child who appears in a woman's womb is a gift that changes a family's history, the life of fathers and mothers, grandparents and of brothers and sisters. That child needs to be welcomed, loved and nurtured. Always!"
 
Pope Francis proclaimed strong opposition to abortion calling selective abortion of the disabled the "expression of an inhuman eugenics mentality" and stated that abortion is never the answer to difficult prenatal diagnoses. The pontiff said,
"On a social level, fear and hostility towards disability often lead to the choice of abortion, presenting it as a form of "prevention". However, the Church's teaching on this point is clear: human life is sacred and inviolable, and the use of prenatal diagnosis for selective purposes must be strongly discouraged. It is an expression of an inhumane eugenic mentality that deprives families of the chance to accept, embrace and love the weakest of their children."
 
Pope Francis affirmed that abortion, the taking of a human life, is never to be accepted as a solution to any problem stating, "Never, never eliminate a human life or hire a killer to solve a problem."
 
Read more here.
 
US: Trump Administration Ends Funding for Research Programs Using Fetal Tissue
The Department of Health and Human Services announced it was not renewing a contract that used fetal tissue from aborted babies for research. The decision comes after a review of federally funded programs found a University of California program was using bone marrow, thymuses and livers from aborted babies to create "humanized mice" that were used for experimentation. Pro-Life Caucus Co-Chair Rep Chris Smith called the use of aborted baby body parts "unethical" and "ineffective," noting they have not produced "a single clinical treatment." Smith said the Administration's move was an "important step toward stopping the barbaric practice of using the body parts of aborted babies for research."
 
A statement from the Trump Administration emphasized its commitment to pro-life policies: "This is consistent with that direction and there will be continued work on the pro-life agenda throughout the rest of the first term and the second term as well, and so we will always work to err on the side of life in all critical decisions that come to the Oval Office at the president's direction."  
Defending Life
US: Americans Oppose Abortion, Find it "Unacceptable" or "Morally Wrong"
Two opinion polls report similar findings--more opposition among Americans to abortion than support. According to Gallup's recent annual Values and Beliefs poll,50 percent of respondents viewed abortion as "morally wrong", while 42 percent said that it was "morally acceptable". More women than men opposed abortion by 52% to 49% and when divided by race, more non-whites opposed abortion than whites by 57% to 47%.
When divided by ideology, the poll showed 23 percent of conservative respondents called abortion "morally permissible" while 73 percent of liberal respondents said the same. The poll has a sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
The YouGov-Cambridge Globalism survey reported in the U.K.'s Guardian, found that more Americans oppose than support abortion making the U.S. the most opposed to abortion of the 23 developed countries surveyed. The survey found 46% of Americans said abortion was unacceptable, compared with 38% who found it acceptable.
 
The more supportive of President Trump, the more likely respondents found abortion to be unacceptable--78% of Donald Trump voters said abortion was unacceptable with just 18% approving of terminations. Rural areas were significantly more opposed to abortion than cities; the more patriotic, the more opposed to abortion according to the poll. Of those who consider the U.S. to be the best country in the world, 65 percent opposed abortion.
Thousands March for Life Globally
Several countries held pro-life marches this past month, drawing large crowds affirming the unborn child's right to life and calling on governments to enact pro-life policies.
 
Taiwan had its first March for Life this May, drawing over 500 people from around the island on the feast of Our Lady of China. The march was organized by St. Gianna Molla Pro-Life Center, which is actively working with parishes to increase the pro-life message and plans to make the march an annual event.
 
Croatia saw thousands of people marching in the cities of Zagreb, Split and Zadar in support of the unborn. The law in Croatia permits abortion in the first ten weeks of pregnancy but many doctors refuse to participate based on moral opposition. A recent survey found 60 percent of doctors exercise their conscientious objection to performing abortion. A court decision in 2017 said the country's abortion law is outdated so parliament is expected to introduce legislation on the issue soon.
 
Vinnie Santoro writes a first-hand account of the thousands who turned out in Italyfor its 9th annual March for Life through the streets of Rome. Pro-life leaders from around the world addressed the crowd, encouraging them to promote policies in Italy that protect the dignity of every human life, from conception to natural death. Italy is currently considering legislation to permit euthanasia, a critical issue for the country as it faces an aging population and declining birthrate.
 
Thousands of Britons marched in London to stand for the right to life and celebrate those who have survived abortions. Abortion survivor and founder of The Abortion Survivors Network, Melissa Ohden, told the crowd about her survival from a saline injection abortion and the disabilities doctors expected she would suffer. "Whether I had lived with the expected disabilities or not, my life still deserved to be protected and respected, I still was worthy of the love that my family freely offered," said Ohden.  
 
Nigeria: Marie Stopes Clinic Shut Down For Illegal Abortions
An abortion clinic operated by Marie Stopes was shut down in Nigeria after police caught the clinic's director Dr Bernard discussing performing an illegal abortion with a young woman. The investigation into the clinic was triggered by an pro-life groups in Nigeria and an international petition by CitizenGO that asked the Nigerian government to revoke Marie Stope's license. The abortion provider admits on its website that it has performed abortions in Nigeria despite it being illegal in the country. "Marie Stopes needs to have their license revoked immediately and their directors arraigned in a court of law for breaking the Nigerian Laws as well as participating in the murder of pre-born children and supplying contraceptives to children", said CitizenGO's Campaign Director for Africa, Ann Kioko. Last November, Marie Stopes was ordered by the Medical Practitioners and Dentist Board to stop offering abortion services in Kenya after it was discovered they were offering illegal abortions under the guise of reproductive health services.
 
Focus on the United Nations
UN Official Calls US Pro-Life Policies 'Extremist Hate' and 'Torture'
The UN deputy high commissioner for human rights, Kate Gilmore, revealed her extreme pro-abortion views by responding when asked about US policy on abortion that, "It's clear it's torture - it's a deprivation of a right to health". She went on to refer to the 'committee of experts' that serve on nine treaty monitoring bodies which have called on pro-life countries to change laws against abortion as having each "independently declared the absolute prohibition of abortion ... is against human rights".
 
In an interview with the UK's Guardian news outlet, Gilmore likened pro-life policies to "extremist hate", an "attack on women's rights", and "gender-based violence against women".
 
Actions by US state legislators to ban abortion to varying degrees and opposition by the Trump administration during UN negotiations to language advancing abortion were equal to "a crisis... a crisis directed at women", according to Gilmore.
 
Ignoring medical advances treating the unborn child as a separate patient and basic biology of human development, she also claimed that groups opposing abortion- described as 'conservative Christian organizations"- "were ignoring evidence in their pursuit of ideological goals" which amounted to "an assault on truth, science and universal values and norms". She stated, "You're entitled to your own opinion, but you're not entitled to your own facts."
 
Gilmore, a long time activist for abortion, has attempted to use her human rights perch at the UN to advance her opinion that abortion is a so-called human right despite the fact that a majority of UN Member States prohibit, limit, and regulate access to abortion and no UN treaty includes abortion as a right.
 
She acknowledged that while there is no enforcement mechanism for the UN human rights systems but their work "can help pressure governments to act".
 
 
UN Budget Shortfall May Impact Pro-Abortion Activism
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michele Bachelet, former president of Chile who legalized abortion, and her deputy commissioner Kate Gilmore, a pro abortion activist, has released the news that six of the 10 treaty monitoring bodies are likely to have sessions in 2019 canceled for financial reasons due to delayed payments by UN Member States.
 
The chairs of the ten Committees wrote a letter to the UN Secretary General and the High Commissioner for Human Rights requesting that they find ways of addressing the budget shortfall.
 
The treaty bodies which may have country reviews and complaint procedures postponed include those which actively pressure pro-life countries to change laws on abortion including The Human Rights Committee, The Committee against Torture, The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, The Committee on the Rights of the Child, The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
International Pressure for Abortion
President of Planned Parenthood Found to be Lying by Wash. Post
The lie that "thousands of women died every year before Roe" recently resurfaced at the hands of the president of Planned Parenthood Leana Wen in response to the passage of state laws against abortion. She stated, "We face a real situation where Roe could be overturned. And we know what will happen, which is that women will die. Thousands of women died every year pre-Roe." She also said, "We're not going to go back in time to a time before Roe when thousands of women died every year because they didn't have access to essential health care." She tweeted, "Before Roe v. Wade, thousands of women died every year - and because of extreme attacks on safe, legal abortion care, this could happen again right here in America."
 
The Washington Post's Fact Checker, which explores political rhetoric to discover the truth, investigated the claim and was directed by Planned Parenthood to a 2014 policy statement issued by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) that stated: "It is estimated that before 1973, 1.2 million U.S. women resorted to illegal abortion each year and that unsafe abortions caused as many as 5,000 annual deaths."
 
After extensive research, Fact Checker determined that the claim was untrue earning Wen its worst ranking for telling an untruth of Four Pinnocchios. According to Fact Checker: "Wen is a doctor, and the ACOG is made up of doctors. They should know better than to peddle statistics based on data that predates the advent of antibiotics.
 
Even given the fuzzy nature of the data and estimates, there is no evidence that in the years immediately preceding the Supreme Court's decision, thousands of women died every year in the United States from illegal abortions...advocates hurt their cause when they use figures that do not withstand scrutiny. These numbers were debunked in 1969 - 50 years ago - by a statistician celebrated by Planned Parenthood. There's no reason to use them today."
 
Fact Checker discovered what pro-life advocates have long known- the use of antibiotics saves women's lives. Former abortionist Bernard Nathanson-co-founder of the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws- revealed after his conversion that the claim of "thousands of women" dying from illegal abortion was a lie he helped devise to sell abortion.
 
How lying marketers sold Roe v. Wade to America recounts Nathanson's explanation of how he and abortionist Lawrence Lader devised the lie:
The number of women dying from illegal abortions was around 200-250 annually. The figure we constantly fed to the media was 10,000. These false figures took root in the consciousness of Americans, convincing many that we needed to crack the abortion law."
Legislative News
US: State Lawmakers Acting to Protect Unborn Children
Pro-life legislation is being passed by state legislators across the U.S. as several US states have passed heartbeat laws, banning abortions from the moment a heartbeat is detected. Louisiana, Georgia, Ohio, Kentucky, and Mississippi have signed six-week bans into law; Missouri enacted a ban at eight weeks gestation. Alabama enacted a near-total abortion ban. None of these laws have yet to take effect. 
 
According to pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, there have been 26 bans on abortion enacted so far in 2019 and between January 1, 2019 and May 20, 2019, 378 abortion restrictions have been introduced on the state level.
 
State lawmakers representing the views of their constituents and limiting access to abortion have incurred the ire of pro-abortion activists from around the world who align with the views expressed in the Lancet editorial which asks "So, among all this regressive, religious, and repressive law-making, where are the advocates for women?"
 
Lancet editor-in-chief Richard Horton writes: "Abortion is a settled, inviolable right that is central to achieving not only reproductive health goals but women's freedom over their own bodies. It is of the utmost importance that medical organisations, journals, NGOs, and advocates come together to condemn the rolling back of abortion laws and campaign for rights to be respected."
Argentina: New Legislation Seeks to Legalize Abortion
New legislation has been introduced in Congress to legalize abortion. The proposed bill states that "women or other identities with the ability to gestate" have access to legal and government funded abortions in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. Argentina currently bans abortion with exceptions for rape and the health of the mother. The legislation is similar to one last year that passed the lower chamber but failed in the Senate. Abortion activists have been lobbying at the grassroots level around the country to change the conversation and push for legalized abortion.
Morocco: Abortion Bill Again Comes Before Parliament
bill to legalize abortion has again been introduced in the Moroccan parliament in another attempt to change current law. Touria Alaoui Skalli, a member of the House of Representatives with the PPS party, has tabled a new bill after a similar one was never acted on last year. The legislation proposes a new law to permit abortion rather than amending the current Penal Code that prohibits abortion, a lengthy and complicated process. 
Iceland: Expands Abortion on Demand Up to First 22 Weeks
The Icelandic parliament approved a bill to expand access to abortion on demand up to the first 22 weeks of pregnancy. The bill also eliminates parental consent for minors and changes the terminology used to describe abortion. The preferred term will now be "interruption of pregnancy" since the Icelandic word for abortion literally means "fetus extermination" and is considered to be a "charged word." The bill passed by a vote of 40-18 with 3 abstentions.
Judicial News
US: Supreme Court Affirms Law on Unborn Remains
The U.S. Supreme Court upheld an Indiana state law requiring that the remains of unborn children be treated with dignity and either buried or cremated. A district court had ruled against the state in a case filed by Planned Parenthood claiming that the state did not have a valid interest in requiring fetal remains to be treated like other human remains "because the Supreme Court has held that the fetus is not a person." Indiana argued that the law, passed under then Governor Mike Pence, included a provision based on the belief that fetal remains are "nothing less than the remains of a partially gestated fetus and should be treated with the same dignity" and that the provision "expands on long-established legal and cultural traditions of recognizing the dignity and humanity of the fetus." The law was passed after the discovery that a medical-waste firm had been accepting and disposing of fetal tissue.
 
The Supreme Court in disagreeing with the district court focused on whether there was a rational basis for the law and acknowledged that states have an interest in the proper disposal of fetal remains, and this law "is rationally related to" that interest.
 
In his 20-page concurring opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas began by writing, "Indiana law prohibits abortion providers from treating the bodies of aborted children as "infectious waste" and incinerating them alongside used needles, laboratory animal carcasses, and surgical byproducts." He explained that he "would have thought it could go without saying that nothing in the Constitution or any decision of this Court prevents a State from requiring abortion facilities to provide for the respectful treatment of human remains."
 
The justices declined to address to circuit court's decision to strike down the provision of the Indiana law that banned abortions based on race, sex or disability of the unborn child.
 
Thomas in his concurrence, wrote about the eugenic history of Planned Parenthood and its founder Margaret Sanger expressing concern for "the potential for abortion to become a tool of eugenic manipulation". After highlighting that technological advances "have only heightened the eugenic potential for abortion, as abortion can now be used to eliminate children with unwanted characteristics, such as a particular sex or disability" he advised that "the Court will soon need to confront the constitutionality of laws like Indiana's."
France: Disabled Man Saved from Euthanasia by Appeals Court Decision
A last minute 'miracle' court decision has saved the life of Vincent Lambert, a Frenchman who was ruled to die by starvation and dehydration. Lambert, a quadriplegic who is in a vegetative state since an accident in 2008, has become the face of the euthanasia campaign in France the last several years as doctors, with the support of his wife and some siblings, have sought to end his life by removing food and water. His parents and other family members have fought to keep him alive through several court appeals. This most recent decision by a Paris appeals court overturned the ruling to take Lambert off life support until his case can be reviewed by the UN Committee for the Rights of Disabled Persons.  
Canada: High Court Rules against Conscience Rights
The Court of Appeal for Ontario has ruled that pro-life doctors must refer patients for a procedure they object to, such as abortion, contraception or euthanasia. The case, Christian Medical and Dental Society of Canada et al. v. College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, was brought forth by several doctors and professional organizations who argued their conscience rights were violated by a policy requiring them to refer patients who requested procedures they are morally opposed to. The high court's unanimous decision acknowledged that while the policy does in fact violate their conscience rights, the court argued that it was a reasonable cost vs the benefit to patients. The justices said the doctors do not have a constitutionally protected right to practice medicine. "Those who enjoy the benefits of a licence to practise a regulated profession must expect to be subject to regulatory requirements that focus on the public interest, rather than the interests of the professionals themselves," wrote Justice Herman J. Wilton-Siegel in the ruling.
Mexico: Court Ruling Increases Access to Abortion
Mexico's Supreme Court has ruled abortion is legal if the mother's health is at risk. The case featured a woman who sought an abortion after being diagnosed with preeclampsia and was at risk for diabetes and other complications during the pregnancy. Mexico's current law banning abortion does not include an exception for the woman's health, which the court claimed violates her right to health. None of Mexico's 31 states have decriminalized abortion, but Mexico City allows abortion on demand for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

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

In this Issue

 
Executive News
Foreign Policy: Trump and Pence vs Trudeau-- Life vs Death
Pope Francis Addresses "Yes to Life!" Conference
US: Trump Administration Ends Funding for Research Programs Using Fetal Tissue
 
Defending Life
US: Americans Oppose Abortion, Find it "Unacceptable" or "Morally Wrong"
Thousands March for Life Globally
Nigeria: Marie Stopes Clinic Shut Down For Illegal Abortions
 
Focus on the United Nations
UN Official Calls US Pro-Life Policy 'Extremist Hate' and 'Torture'
UN Budget Shortfall May Impact Pro-Abortion Activism 
 
International Pressure for Abortion
President of Planned Parenthood Found to be Lying     
 
Legislative News
US: State Lawmakers Acting to Protect Unborn Children
Iceland: Expands Abortion on Demand Up to First 22 Weeks
Argentina: New Legislation Seeks to Legalize Abortion
Morocco: Abortion Bill Again Comes Before Parliament
 
Judicial News
US: Supreme Court Affirms Law on Unborn Remains
France: Disabled Man Saved from Euthanasia by Appeals Court Decision
Canada: High Court Rules Against Conscience Rights
Mexico: Court Ruling Increases Access to Abortion