Thursday, November 18, 2010

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Health care must respect life from conception: Pope Benedict

by Hilary White, Rome Correspondent Thu Nov 18 12:15 EST Comments (0)

 

ROME, November 18, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In a letter to participants at the 25th International Conference of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry, Pope Benedict said that “the world of health may not evade the moral rules” and must avoid a consumerist “cult of the body.” The pope listed destruction of the human embryo and euthanasia as examples of a failure of justice and charity in health care.

Charity requires justice, the pope said, and “justice must be among the health agendas of governments and international institutions.”

“Unfortunately, alongside positive and encouraging results, there are opinions and ways of thinking that hurt. I am referring to issues such as those related to the so-called ‘reproductive health,’ with the use of artificial reproductive techniques that involve destruction of embryos, or legalized euthanasia.

“The love of justice, the protection of life from conception to natural death, respect for the dignity of every human being should be sustained and witnessed, even against the tide: the core ethical values are the common heritage of universal morality and the basis of democratic society,” said the pope.

He added: “We are witnessing, on the one hand, a care for health which risks turning into pharmacological, medical and surgical consumerism, almost a cult of the body while, on the other hand, we see the difficulties millions of people face as they seek to obtain minimal subsistence and the medicines they need to cure themselves.”

At the 2009 synod of African bishops at the Vatican, catholic health care agencies in the developing countries of Africa revealed that one of their biggest challenges was obtaining sufficient anti-retroviral drugs to treat AIDS victims already suffering from the disease. International aid organizations, the bishops said, were solely focused on prevention to the detriment of attempts to treat the ill.

“Care for the human being,” the pope said, is a core issue for the Christian community, “for his transcendent dignity and inalienable rights.”

Speaking of health care development in the third world, Pope Benedict said, “I would advocate the adoption of a model of development based on the centrality of the human person, on the promotion and sharing of the common good, on responsibility, on a realisation of our need for a changed lifestyle, and on prudence, the virtue which tells us what needs to be done today in view of what might happen tomorrow.”

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Scottish euthanasia bill rejected overwhelmingly by committee

by LifeSiteNews.com Thu Nov 18 12:15 EST Comments (0)

By Hilary White

EDINBURGH, November 18, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A bill that proposed to legalize assisted suicide in Scotland has been rejected by a committee of cross-party Scottish parliamentarians. A five-to-one majority of the committee said Wednesday that they could not recommend approval of the principles of the bill.

Liberal Democrat MSP Ross Finnie, convener of the committee, said, “Fundamentally, the committee wrestled with the bill’s premise that it would help maintain an individual’s dignity and autonomy as they move towards the end of their life.”

“Overall, the majority of the committee was not persuaded that the case had been made to decriminalise the law of homicide as it applies to assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia, termed ‘end-of-life assistance’ in the bill,” Finnie said.

Joseph Lee, the development officer for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children in Scotland, told LifeSiteNews.com that the decision is “great news for vulnerable people of Scotland.”

Lee said, “This is the fourth time that some form of right-to-die proposals have surfaced in the Scottish Parliament and we can no doubt expect more, but the Scottish pro-life movement has been buoyed by this victory and are ready to fight against any other attempts that may be forthcoming.”

MSP (Member of the Scottish Parliament) Margo MacDonald launched the End of Life Assistance bill in January this year that proposed to allow physicians to provide patients with lethal drugs for self-administration. Its provisions would have allowed anyone over the age of 16, whether suffering from a life-threatening illness or not, to ask a physician for assisted suicide.

Anyone diagnosed as terminally ill or “permanently physically incapacitated to the point where they find life intolerable” could ask for assisted suicide. MacDonald, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease, said at the launch of the bill that she wanted to prevent prosecution for those family members who “help” a loved-one to die.

“It’s absolutely appalling that people should have to leave their homes and their families and friends and everything that's familiar to them, and end their life in a foreign country in what has to be a relatively clinical atmosphere,” she said.

But the disability rights group Care Not Killing called the scope of MacDonald’s bill “incredibly broad,” and warned, “Tens of thousands of seriously ill and disabled people throughout Scotland would fall within its remit.”

Care Not Killing said that the bill went past assisted suicide, and proposed to allow physicians to euthanize patients directly. Moreover, the bill contained no conscience clause that would allow doctors to refuse to participate in assisted suicide or euthanasia.

“The drafting of the bill is vague and full of euphemisms and ambiguities. Among others, there is no definition of what it is to find life ‘intolerable’ and the methods by which life would be legally terminated are not identified,” said Care Not Killing.

The group also said that the bill fails to specify ‘means of administration’ of assisted suicide so that “it might conceivably include gas (carbon monoxide or helium), hanging, a bullet or a push off a cliff.” It called the bill’s “safeguards”“seriously defective,” and said that it failed to specify procedures by which doctors would report an assisted suicide, making a “meaningful audit of how the law was working highly problematic.”

Joseph Lee said, “We expect that when the issue comes to be voted on next week, it will now simply be a formality that the bill will be defeated. We hope that the bill suffers a heavy defeat to send out a clear signal that our Government is willing to protect the weak and the vulnerable.”

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National pro-life group urges more bills to stop late-term abortionists

by LifeSiteNews.com Thu Nov 18 12:15 EST Comments (0)

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 18, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com)  – In the wake of massive pro-life gains on November 2, the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) is calling on State legislatures to mimic the Nebraska law that forced notorious late-term abortionist LeRoy Carhart to shut down his Nebraska facility.

Carhart was forced to go elsewhere to continue his abortion business after the Nebraska legislature passed Legislative Bill 103 (L.B. 103), which bans abortions over 20 weeks post-conception, based on the fact that science has definitively proven a child is capable of feeling pain at that age.

Carhart, who relies on late-term abortions for the bulk of his business, announced last week that he is looking to set up new facilities in Iowa and Maryland, with a third in Indiana providing only early term abortions. He specifically mentioned that he had to leave because of the new law.

“This sort of forced us. We had to do it,” Carhart told the Omaha World Herald. “In Iowa and Maryland, we can do the later cases.”

NRLC’s Director of State Legislation Mary Spaulding Balch, J.D. said today that other states should adopt similar laws to L.B. 103 to bring an end to late-term abortions. “Nebraska's groundbreaking law protecting pain-capable unborn children is an example for other states in the nation.”

“LeRoy Carhart's hopscotching around the nation to find areas that allow abortion for any reason, at any time, underscores the need for other states to pass similar legislation to put Carhart and the hundreds of other abortionists who perform abortions late in pregnancy out of business.”

NRLC said it is planning on holding a State Legislative Strategy Conference on December 7 to plan how best to capitalize on pro-life gains made in state legislative and gubernatorial elections. The conference will concentrate on a model bill based on Nebraska's L.B. 103. 

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Mississippi man to be charged with murder of unborn child

by LifeSiteNews.com Thu Nov 18 12:15 EST Comments (0)

By Thaddeus M. Baklinski

GULFPORT, MS, November 18, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A Gulfport man charged with the murder of his pregnant girlfriend will also be charged with fetal homicide, according to the prosecuting attorney handling the case.

Kevin Crockett is charged with the Nov. 8 murder of Taneka Johnson, 28, who was five months pregnant with his child.

“I searched the law and found a change that makes it possible to charge him with the murder of a fetus. The paperwork will be done first thing Thursday,” Harrison County prosecuting attorney Herman Cox said after a preliminary hearing on Wednesday, Nov. 17, according to the Sun Herald.

As of March of this year, at least 38 states had fetal homicide laws of some kind, while 21 states had laws that apply to even the earliest stages of pregnancy, such as "any state of gestation," "conception," "fertilization" or "post-fertilization."

Mississippi Code Ann. § 97-3-37 defines manslaughter to include "the willful killing of an unborn quick child by an injury to the mother of such child," and Code Ann. § 11.7.13 includes "the death of a fetus in wrongful death statute as murder or manslaughter."

In 2004, Mississippi broadened the definition of an unborn child with regard to its fetal homicide laws to include “every stage of gestation from conception until live birth.”

Cox noted that the penalty for killing an unborn child is up to 20 years and Crockett, age 42, faces life in prison if found guilty of Johnson’s and her child's murder.

Assistant District Attorney Charlie Wood told the Sun Herald that the revised fetal homicide charge has rarely been used in the state.

“It’s rare but only because homicide victims are usually men, sometimes women, but rarely an unborn child,” Wood said.

Presiding judge Albert Fountain bound the case over to a grand jury and is holding Crockett at the Harrison County Adult Detention Center under a $5 million bond.


See related LSN articles:

Calif. Judge Gives Man 50-Yr. Sentence for Murdering Unborn Baby  
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2010/apr/10041206.html

Mom to be Charged with Killing Unborn Infant while DUI  
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2010/may/10051403.html

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Two notorious abortion facilities close, including site of alleged forced abortions

by LifeSiteNews.com Thu Nov 18 12:15 EST Comments (0)

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 18, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Two notorious abortion facilities have closed or are scheduled to close, continuing a national trend of closures documented by the pro-life group Operation Rescue in its “Project Daniel 5:25.”

In Yakima, Washington, the Cedar Women’s Clinic, which was the first abortion clinic to open in that city 31 years ago, closed Monday due to a dramatic decrease in the demand for abortions. According to statistics kept by the state, the abortion rate for women ages 15 to 44 dropped from 18 per 1,000 in 2008 to 16.7 per 1,000 in 2009. One abortion facility remains in Yakima.

In Michigan, Womancare of Downriver in Southgate, owned by abortionist Alberto Hodari, is currently in the process of being sold to a physician whose practice does not include abortions. Once the deal is complete, the abortion center will close.

The Southgate facility made it into the news last year after Caitlin Bruce, a former client of Hodari, filed a lawsuit against him and an assistant whom she claims forced her to have an abortion in April 2008.  The lawsuit claimed Hodari "had his assistant ... restrain Caitlin Bruce and cover her mouth" and began the abortion procedure "despite Caitlin Bruce's objecting and screaming, 'Stop, stop, I don't want this,' and despite her desire not to undergo the procedure."

Another woman, Jennifer McCoy, came forward last year with allegations that Hodari forced an abortion on her at the Southgate site when she was 16-years old. McCoy praised the closure of the facility: “That clinic will never do another abortion again,” she said.

Hodari's practice has also been implicated in the deaths of at least four women from abortion-related complications.  In June 2009, the Disciplinary Subcommittee of Michigan's Board of Medicine fined Hodari $10,000 for negligence in connection with the botched abortion death of Regina Johnson.

Operation Rescue said that the Southgate facility was one of at least two abortion mills that Hodari was trying to sell. In all, Hodari operates six abortion mills in Eastern Michigan.

The Washington and Michigan closures are part of an increasing trend that has been taking place in America over the past twenty years. According to Operation Rescue, over two-thirds of America’s abortion clinics have closed since 1991, when there were over 2,100 clinics nationwide.

“When we released our ‘Project Daniel 5:25’ listing of all remaining surgical abortion clinics in the United States last December, there were 713. Today, counting the Southgate mill, which will soon close, there are only 694,” said Operation Rescue spokesperson Cheryl Sullenger. “That’s great news for women and their pre-born babies.”

Twenty abortion clinics have closed in the past 11 months at a rate of nearly two per month.

Sullenger pointed out that more clinics would close if they ceased to receive taxpayer dollars.

“Government funding continues to artificially prop up a failing abortion industry. Without tax-funding, more of these clinics would fold,” said Sullenger. “Until we can encode legal protections for the pre-born, we must work to expose and defund the abortion industry. Closing clinics is a proven way to reduce abortions and save lives.”

Operation Rescue maintains a listing of abortion faclities on its “Project Daniel 5:25” page. The project was named after the Biblical story of Daniel, who was able to read the handwriting on the wall and predict the fall of a wicked kingdom. Operation Rescue says that the trend of abortion mill closings is “handwriting on the wall” signaling the end of abortion.

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Spanish prime minister defends pro-abort policies in face of papal criticism

by LifeSiteNews.com Thu Nov 18 12:15 EST Comments (0)

By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

SPAIN, November 17, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Stung by plummeting poll numbers and stark criticisms by Pope Benedict XVI during his recent national visit, Spain's socialist prime minister Jose Luis Zapatero is defending some of his most controversial policies, including legalizing abortion on demand during the first fourteen weeks of pregnancy, and institutionalizing homosexual "marriage."

The country is in the final few weeks of an election campaign.

At a campaign rally in the socialist stronghold of Barcelona, Zapatero responded to his rival for the office of prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, who recently blasted Zapatero for disappearing from Spain during the papal visit.

"What does Rajoy want, that we pass the laws that the pope wants?" asked Zapatero. "By no means!  We will pass the laws the Parliament and the citizens of this country want."

Zapatero also denounced the Catholic Church for "decades and decades" of imposition of  "laws, codes of conduct, and a particular form of seeing life and religion" in Spain. Today the majority of Spaniards want to be "free and for no one to impose morality on them" because now "everyone freely chooses his own morality," he said.

Although Zapatero's words are likely to be well received in the far-left region of Catalonia, his pro-abortion policies have not met with the same response in the rest of the country. Opinion polls have repeatedly shown that Spaniards, especially women, are opposed to his new abortion law, which even permits 16 year olds to have their unborn children killed without parental consent.

Opinion polls currently show Zapatero and Rajoy neck-in-neck, with only a one percentage point lead for Zapatero.


Related LifeSiteNews coverage:

Pope Repeatedly Defends Life and Family During Visit to Spain  
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2010/nov/10110806.html

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Letters to the Editor

by LifeSiteNews.com Thu Nov 18 12:15 EST Comments (0)

Re: Facebook Teams Up with Gay Activist Orgs to Stop ‘Hateful’ Comments

There's no use putting a "Share on Facebook" link, FB is already censoring the link and refuses to allow it to be published!

Grant Vandervalk
Victoria, Australia

_________________________________________________________________________________  


Re: L'Osservatore Romano and the Irrelevance of "Relevance" 

I loved Hilary's comments on the Homer Simpson fiasco from L'Osservatore Romano. Her depiction of the newspaper's apparent motive as the "pursuit of hipster relevance" was sadly comical and likely correct. It makes me think of the words of Jesus…."If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you." It seems the Vatican newspaper is vying for worldly relevance in order to make the Gospel more palatable.

I did not agree with Hilary on her comment that The Simpson's is the one show that does not deserve condemnation. Her right concept of "custody of the eyes [and ears]" regarding reading articles in L'O. Romano,also applies to our decision about viewing the Simpsons as entertainment.

I tuned in early on to preview the show for its content to see if it was ok for my kids. I found it to be crude, rude with acrid humor and anti-religious. Under the guise of silly cartoon satire, I clearly sensed a sinister mockery and ridicule of faith and morals. It is a subtle spiritual poison, kind of like watching the devil do stand-up comedy disquised as the Three Stooges. Note the writers quickly came out and said that Homer Simpson was not Catholic. They quickly distanced themselves from any association to the Church.

I think the L'Osservatore Romano is in dire need of solid spiritual direction. This article about the Simpson's (as well as others of late)is truly and sadly unrepresentative of true Catholocism. As for their suggestion that despite some 'dangers' in the long-running series, parents don't need to be afraid of letting their children watch the adventures of the little yellow people….I would suggest a re-read of the Gospel that says "It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin."(Luke17:2)

Lorrain Keess
Alberta, Canada

_________________________________________________________________________________  


Re: Vatican Archbishop Burke: Public Repentance is Required for Pro-Abort Politicians

Archbishop Raymond Burke,  Gracie Tanto, Danke schon, Agradecer! For having the courage to say what many others won't!

If you are a true Catholic then you are anti-abortion, anti-euthansia, anti-same sex 'marriage' and adoption! Can't these people that vote pro-abortion and then race to Holy Communion realise that others see their most inconsistent and totally inappropriate behaviour? Why does Archbishop Burke have to even tell them.

Archbishop Burke words are never enough to thank you for the way you consistently have always had the courage to clarify the  consistent life ethic position! And to  try to realign those that so go off track on these and other matters! The Pro life movement and true Catholics are eternally grateful to you.

In years to come Archbishop Burke will be remembered for being so correct!

Was slavery ever right no!

Catherine Kennedy
Melbourne, Australia

_________________________________________________________________________________  

To write a letter to the Editor: E-mail your letter to editor@lifesitenews.com. Write "letter to the editor" in the subject line. You must include your name and complete address, as well as your phone # (the phone # and street address are for verification of identity only, and will not be published). Please note that all letters are subject to editing. LifeSiteNews.com will publish letters to the editor at its discretion, giving priority to the most concise, well reasoned, factual and timely submissions. Harsh language or personal attacks will not be published.

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Aggressive homosexual ideology silencing Christians: senior Cardinal

by Hilary White, Rome Correspondent Thu Nov 18 12:15 EST Comments (1)

 

ROME, November 18, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – An “aggressive ideology,” a behavioral theory of “complete debauchery,” is loose in the world, and appears to be winning against the traditional Christian culture of the west, said Cardinal Giacomo Biffi.

The cleric made the remarks in a book of memoirs, titled “The Inconvenient Memoirs,” which has been republished and launched today in Rome with an additional section on the dangers of the homosexualist ideology.

In these “shattered” times, the cardinal said, the new ideologies have resulted in an “intellectual blindness” and in the silencing of Christians who are intimidated by persecution by homosexuals and their ideological accomplices.

But in the end, the cardinal wrote, the Church will not be defeated: “We are with the Lord of History.”

The archbishop-emeritus of Bologna and dogmatic theologian is known to have been one of Joseph Ratzinger’s strongest supporters in the last conclave and was briefly considered a contender for the papal throne himself. Biffi was head of the Bolonga diocese from 1984 to 2003 and is one of the Church’s major “conservative” voices.

The ideology of homosexuality, he said, as often happens to ideologies when they become aggressive and are politically successful, “becomes a threat to our legitimate autonomy of thought: those who do not share it risk condemnation to a kind of cultural and social marginalization.”

“The attacks on freedom of thought start with language,” he wrote. “Those who do not resign themselves to accept ‘homophilia’ ... are charged with ‘homophobia’.”

“Is it still permitted ... to be faithful and consistent disciples of the teaching of Christ ... or must we prepare ourselves for a new form of persecution, promoted by homosexual activists, by their ideological accomplices, and even by those whose task it should be to defend the intellectual freedom of all, including Christians?”

The new sections of the book, in addition to dealing with the homosexulist ideology, examine the negative effects of the Second Vatican Council, the “challenge of chastity,” and the role of women. 

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Obama administration flooding Peru with millions of condoms

by LifeSiteNews.com Thu Nov 18 12:15 EST Comments (1)

By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman, Latin America Correspondent

LIMA, November 18, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Obama administration is helping to flood Peru with over 18,000,000 condoms through the USAID program, according to two of Peru's most important Catholic bishops.

"It shames me terribly that the Ministry of Health is promoting this massive distribution of condoms with the support of USAID because it encourages the irresponsible exercise of sexuality, above all among our young people," said José Antonio Eguren, Archbishop of Piura and President of the Episcopal Commission on the Family, Infancy, and Defense of Life, in a written statement published on the Archdiocesan website.

"Sexuality cannot be reduced merely to the genitals, to an irresponsible sexual act, separated completely from its procreative intention and from its natural and rightful place, which is marriage," Erugen wrote. He added that "we should reject this type of policy that promotes a culture that trivializes human sexuality."

The Cardinal Archbishop of Peru, Juan Luis Cipriani, likewise blasted the new condom campaign in a recent sermon, in which he characterized the government's policy as: "I'm going to give out condoms, 18 million.  I'm not going to educate young people, I'm not going to educate parents, I'm not going to educate public opinion, I'm going to give them out so that there will be more libertinism, more sexual abuse."

"This is the betrayal of which Jesus spoke," said the Cardinal.

Numerous studies have indicated that condom distribution promotes sexual promiscuity, the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, and out of wedlock births, while abstinence education tends to reduce them.

The USAID program says on its website that it has convinced the Peruvian government to classify contraceptives as "medicine" and openly declares its intention to lower the fertility rate of Peruvian women, claiming that it benefits them economically. It spends $11.2 million annually on providing "health" services to the country.


Related LifeSiteNews coverage:

Obama Administration Stonewalls Full Release of Major Abstinence Study
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2010/aug/10081910.html

"Safe Sex" with Condoms Bad for Mental Health, Psych Researcher Finds
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/aug/09080401.html

Harvard AIDS Expert Says Pope is Correct on Condom Distribution Making AIDS Worse
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/mar/09031906.html

Studies Show Abstinence Education Works: Heritage Foundation Report
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/apr/08042308.html

“Comprehensive” Sex Education is Ineffective: Abstinence Works, Major National Study Shows
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2007/jun/07061304.html

Medical Journalist Says Reliance on Condoms Spreads HIV/AIDS
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2006/jun/06062304.html

Japan AIDS/HIV Rate Skyrockets with 80% Condom Use
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2005/jun/05060610.html

New Condom Marketing Targets Teens at "High Risk" for STD's
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2004/jan/04010806.html

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U.S. Senate committee considering ratification of pro-abort UN treaty

by Matt Anderson Thu Nov 18 12:15 EST Comments (0)

 

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 18, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) –The Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Human Rights and Law is holding hearings today to consider whether the United States should ratify a radical UN treaty that could lead to mandated federal funding of abortion and the violation of the conscience rights of pro-life health professionals.

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), for which the subcommittee is considering approval, was signed by President Jimmy Carter in 1980 but has never garnered enough support in the Senate to be ratified into law.

In the announcement for the hearing, the subcommittee billed the treaty as protecting “fundamental human rights.” However, pro-life Rep. Chris Smith (R-New Jersey) has pointed out that ratification of CEDAW would “subject (the U.S.) to the pro-abortion ideology” of a UN oversight committee that enforces the treaty.

Though CEDAW itself never directly mentions abortion, Article 12 has been used by the committee that oversees enforcement of the treaty to attempt to force abortion on numerous countries where it is outlawed.

Article 12 states, “States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in the field of health care in order to ensure … access to health care services, including those related to family planning.”

In a letter addressed to members of Congress, Smith explained that the CEDAW Committee interprets Article 12 to mean that all member countries must publicly fund elective abortions. Further, the Committee uses Article 12 to argue that pro-life physicians do not have the right to refuse participation in procedures that violate their consciences.

Rep. Smith pointed to several of many statements the Committee has made over the years displaying their overt pro-abortion ideology.

In 1998, the Committee wrote an opinion to Croatia in which it reprimanded the country for laws protecting pro-life doctors’ rights saying: “It [the Committee] is also concerned about information regarding the refusal, by some hospitals, to provide abortions on the basis of conscientious objection of doctors. The Committee considers this to be an infringement of women’s reproductive rights.”

Further, the Committee also encouraged the small African country of Burkina Faso to federally subsidize abortion. In 2000, it told the country, “It [the Committee] also recommends that the State party should review its legislation on abortion and provide for coverage by social security.”

Under the U.S. Constitution, a treaty that is signed by a president and ratified by the Senate would have the force of law. Smith points out that this means statements made by the CEDAW committee could be used by courts in the U.S. to strike down pro-life laws, including those requiring parental consent, protecting conscientious objectors, and banning partial birth abortion.

“Since legalized abortion is not sufficient to satisfy the extreme views of the CEDAW Committee, common sense laws in the United States and the fifty states will be under attack,” says Smith.

“If CEDAW is ratified by the Senate, the United States (U.S.) will not escape their overreaching efforts to impose abortion on our country as an international obligation.”


See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:

CEDAW Committee Pushes Rwanda, Libya, Others to Legalize Abortion  
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/feb/09022004.html

United Nations CEDAW Committee Pushes Syria to Permit Abortion  
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2007/jun/07060512.html

UN Committee Pushes Abortion on Slovakia, Lithuania, Northern Ireland  
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/jul/08071708.html

United Nations tells Hondurans that Abortion Ban is “A Crime”
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2007/aug/07080201.html

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Ottawa group launches “Pro-Life Video Challenge” for Ontario youth

by LifeSiteNews.com Thu Nov 18 12:15 EST Comments (0)

 

OTTAWA, Ontario., November 18, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Action Life (Ottawa), Inc, a pro-life educational organization located in Canada's Capital, has launched an innovative video competition to raise awareness about the humanity of the unborn child.

The "Giving Voice to the Voiceless Pro-Life Video Challenge", which is touted as the first of its kind among pro-life organizations in Canada and perhaps North America, seeks to invite young people to tap into their artistic talents in educating the public about the dignity of nascent human life.

Louise Harbour, the Executive Director of Action Life, is very excited about the initiative. "I think this is a wonderful means of reaching a much wider public than the conventional methods we have tried before. Our young people today have a natural wealth of creativity and are very eager to use that creativity in building up a culture of life. We hope this initiative allows them to use their talents in providing a meaningful impact using today's technology."

The competition involves accepting submissions of never previously viewed videos using YouTube. It is being promoted within elementary and secondary school grades, and is open to students under the age of 19 who reside in the province of Ontario.

The initiative is also offering modest cash prizes for the first ($500), second ($200), and third place ($150) finishes. The submissions will be judged on strength of pro-life message, motivational impact, and artistic merit. 
Matt Dineen, a religion teacher who guides the St. Joseph Respect for Life Team in Ottawa says, "Young people today have the power and ability to activate others, especially their peers, by awakening them to the truth of the abortion issue.

People have to be exposed to the truth contained in these images, be they graphic or not, says Dineen, in order to change minds and convert hearts. One need look no further than the example of Lila Rose and how she's used technology to expose the corrupt practices of Planned Parenthood in the United States."

Commenting on the unconventional approach in reaching students with Action Life's message, Harbour remarked, "While we have access to the school system, there are impediments and obstacles that sometimes arise in getting the pro-life message out in the schools. Some of it is political but much of it is practical and logistical.

Harbour says this campaign will help us reach youths that would otherwise not hear our message. It will certainly have a broader reach if the pro-life community really helps us to promote it. The fact that it's youth speaking to youth also has a greater impact than it would otherwise have because of the kind of buzz created in a student competition."

Harbour said that her hope is that this campaign becomes an annual event which will grow every year and help the public become more aware of what abortion really is. "I hope the students will accept the challenge of the contest. The cash prizes add a bit of incentive too."

Deadline for submissions is December 12.

Further details about the campaign can be found on Action Life's website here.  The full resolution poster for the campaign can be found here.

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Hope for threatened Carleton pro-life club as new motion introduced

by LifeSiteNews.com Thu Nov 18 12:15 EST Comments (0)

By Patrick B. Craine

OTTAWA, Ontario, November 18, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The embattled Carleton University pro-life club, which is facing the loss of its club status due to its pro-life views, has been given a boost of hope in the form of a newly introduced motion in the university's student union.

After four members of Carleton Lifeline were arrested last month for attempting to erect a pro-life display on campus, the Carleton University Students’ Association (CUSA) informed them last week that their club constitution violates a CUSA policy that upholds “a woman’s right to choose.”

Khaldoon Bushnaq, CUSA’s vice-president of internal affairs, gave the pro-life club until today to remove their pro-life commitment from the constitution or else they would lose their club status.  The club instead vowed to fight.

Now it appears at least some members of the student union are considering backing down.  Bushnaq told the Canadian Press Thursday that a motion was introduced at their council meeting Wednesday night to change CUSA’s policies so that the pro-life club can maintain its status.  The motion is expected to be voted on in December.

Jason MacDonald, spokesman for the university, emphasized that CUSA operates independently, but said the university – which was responsible for ordering the students’ arrest – has “never challenged or questioned” the club’s right to exist or hold their views.  “We have made efforts to accommodate their right to express themselves and their point of view on the abortion issue on our campus, though we may have disagreed over where and how they may express elements of their position,” said MacDonald.

LifeSiteNews.com did not hear back from Bushnaq by press time.

“We’re appalled by CUSA’s decision to deny Lifeline the rights and privileges accorded to other student groups on the basis of Lifeline’s pro-life position,” commented Rebecca Richmond of Canada’s National Campus Life Network.  “We hope that CUSA will realize that this constitutes discrimination and will alter its policies to respect Lifeline’s rights.”

The club’s loss of status made the cover of Canada’s National Post Wednesday in an article by Charles Lewis with the headline, "Support abortion or stay off campus, club told". The Post's main editorial Thursday condemned the CUSA action.

The Post decried the fact that Canadian universities are becoming “bastions of censorship” where “right-of-centre” students face lawsuits or expulsion for expressing their views while “left-wing students” are allowed to shut down views they oppose.

“We doubt CUSA would ask campus Marxists to renounce socialism, or require Muslim groups to convert to Judaism, yet they are demanding the equivalent backflip from pro-lifers,” the editorial reads.

Pro-life activities have been restricted or banned recently at numerous Canadian universities, including Lakehead University, the University of British Columbia-Okanagan, the University of Calgary, Newfoundland’s Memorial University, and Toronto’s York University.


See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:

Carleton pro-life student group loses club status  
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2010/nov/10111606.html

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Federal government warns that Ontario could become prostitution mecca

by Thaddeus Baklinski Thu Nov 18 12:15 EST Comments (0)

 

OTTAWA, November 18, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Failure to stay a recent ruling that struck down Canada’s prostitution laws could result in Ontario attracting prostitutes from all over the country, the Canadian federal government warned this week.

The government’s Justice Department issued the warning in a legal brief submitted to the Ontario Court of Appeal in support of the federal government's appeal of Justice Susan Himel's Ontario Superior Court decision.

In September, Justice Himel ruled that Canada’s provisions on prostitution violated women’s Charter rights to freedom of expression and security of the person, and that Criminal Code prohibitions on communicating for the purpose of prostitution, keeping a common bawdy house, and living on the avails of prostitution were unconstitutional.

The Justice Department factum states that Himel's ruling will cause "irreparable harms to the public interest," and that allowing prostitutes to operate legally in Ontario "will likely encourage the movement of prostitutes to Ontario from other jurisdictions."

The legal brief points out that more prostitution in the province would also result in increased drug trafficking, violence, and the degradation of communities.

Six supporting affidavits from police and community activists were filed with the brief, stating concern over the creation of legal red light districts where prostitutes' lives would be in danger and that authorities would be powerless to protect residents in these neighborhoods.

The Justice Department argues that the ruling of "one single judge of one single superior court" will create "profound and immediate consequences upon communities, neighborhoods and women engaged in prostitution in this province, while generating legal uncertainty across Canada."

Furthermore, "failure to grant a stay would create distinctions in the operation of the Criminal Code between Ontario and the rest of Canada," said the Justice Department brief.

Gwendolyn Landolt, National Vice President of REAL Women of Canada, noted that an appointed non-answerable judge has handed down a decision on a national social policy that would never be passed by an elected Parliament.

"This sets a dangerous precedent that lower courts can usurp the role of Parliament and ignore Supreme Court of Canada rulings," Landolt told LifeSiteNews.

In 1990 the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that prostitution laws are constitutional and that infringements on individual rights are justified because of the social problems associated with prostitution.

Landolt noted that Justice Himel's "narrow focus on harm to individuals as opposed to harm to society," was absurd.

"To declare prostitution and all its accompanying activities as a legal right and activity protected by the Charter of Right’s section 7 (security of persons) is an absurdity," Landolt concluded.

The Ontario Court of Appeal has not yet set a date to hear the federal appeal.


See previous LSN coverage:

Canadian Laws Restricting Prostitution ‘Unconstitutional’: Ontario Court  
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2010/sep/10092905.html

Canadian Gvmt to Appeal Prostitution Ruling  
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2010/sep/10093003.html

Pro-Family Groups Oppose Canadian Prostitution Ruling  
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2010/sep/10093004.html

BC Court Allows Challenge against Prostitution Laws  
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2010/oct/10101302.html

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