OTTAWA, June 21, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association sent out an e-mail this week urging the province’s Catholic teachers to support a campaign promoting “safe abortion” and accusing the Vatican of furthering the plight of women targeted by sexual violence.
Mary Ellen Douglas, national organizer for Campaign Life Coalition, called the news “shocking” and “disgraceful.”
OECTA’s head office sent the e-mail to unit heads on Monday to be passed along to staff. It was a forward of an e-mail sent out by the non-profit Canada Without Poverty charging that the Canadian government was “undermining [the United Nation’s] human rights standards on violence against women.”
Earlier this month, Canada served as chair of negotiations on a resolution condemning violence against women at the UN Human Rights Council’s meetings in Geneva. Pro-abortion groups have accused the country of allowing “glaring omissions“ from the text in the area of so-called “reproductive rights.”
The Canada Without Poverty e-mail was forwarded to OECTA’s members on June 17th by Cindy Robidoux, executive assistant to Marshall Jarvis, OECTA’s General Secretary. She indicates that she was sending the e-mail on behalf of Jeremy Cox, a councillor on OECTA’s provincial executive.
“What is Canada opposing [in the resolution]?” the forwarded e-mail asks. “As part of the effort to end violence against women Canada is refusing to support sexuality education for girls or access to sexual/reproductive health services for survivors of rape.”
The e-mail then directs readers to follow a link to a blog post on Amnesty International’s website for more information. There we learn what they mean by “reproductive health.”
The resolution, they say, “fails to list what [reproductive health] services must be available [to violence survivors], including emergency contraception, safe abortion, post-exposure prophylaxis for HIV, and screening and treatment for sexually transmitted infections.”
“The provision of these critical services for survivors of sexual violence is contentious and nonexistent in many countries. That is why referencing these examples explicitly would have added tremendously to the resolution,” the post adds.
Amnesty International, in the same post e-mailed out by OECTA, also claims that the Holy See has been working “behind the scenes” against protections for victims of sexual violence.
They say Canada was in the “unenviable position” as chair of the committee to be jockeying between countries that support a strong stand on violence against women and those that do not.
“A handful of countries don’t support strong action to combat violence against women,” they write. “Egypt, Russia, China, Cuba, the Holy See, and others, all worked behind the scenes to weaken protections to women and girls who are victimized by sexual violence.”
Matthew Wojciechowski, a pro-life activist at Campaign Life Coalition who attended the 57th Session of the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women in March, said one of the abortion lobby’s main tactics recently has been to push for a ‘right to abortion’ under the guise of protecting women from violence.
When he was there in March, “abortion advocates claimed that abortion access was the solution to ending violence against women,” he explained. “They aggressively pushed forward their pro-abortion tactics proclaiming that restricting access to abortion was in itself a form of violence and that ‘sexual and reproductive health service’s’ including ‘emergency contraception’ and legal abortion were a ‘human right’.”
“Focusing on the root causes and offering genuine health care and support to victims comes secondary to these pro-abortion organizations,” Wojciechowski added. “Their main goal is to establish a ‘right to abortion’ and they have resorted to doing so under the guise of ending violence against women. They would have us believe that abortion will eradicate rape and sexual abuse, but in reality access to abortion does nothing to prevent and/or solve the underlying problems of this devastating form of violence.”
OECTA professes to take a pro-life position and was a silver-level sponsor of this year’s March for Life for having donated $1,000. But they have also frequently undermined the Church’s defense of life by hosting pro-abortion speakers at their conferences and even effectively endorsing pro-abortion Dalton McGuinty’s Liberal Party in a multi-million dollar campaign during the 2011 Ontario election.
The union has repeatedly undermined and opposed the Church’s teachings on sexuality. They have promoted bizarre sex conferences featuring talks on drag queens and sex toys, seriously mulled the official promotion of homosexual ‘marriage’, and sought to intervene in a court proceeding against a Catholic school that was being sued by a male student for refusing to permit him to bring his gay ‘boyfriend’ to the school prom.
In 2011 they opposed Ontario’s bishops in a high-profile political battle by endorsing gay-straight alliances, and even donated to a GSA project by the homosexual activist group Egale.
Douglas said they “find it disgraceful that [OECTA] would endorse such an ardent pro-abortion policy.” She said they share their concern about violence against women, but that “you don’t stop violence against women by creating violence against the unborn child.”
“There is no such thing as a safe abortion,” Douglas added. “This is turning violence towards the innocent unborn child. It’s shocking that a union which represents Catholic teachers would make such a request.”
LifeSiteNews contacted OECTA for an explanation but did not hear back by press time.
Zenon Cardinal Grocholewski
Prefect, Congregation for Catholic Education and Seminaries
Piazza Pio XII, 3
00193 Vatican City, Italy, Europe
Phone: (011) 39-6-6988-4156
Cardinal Thomas Collins, President of the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario
Phone: (416) 934-0606, ext. 609
Fax: (416) 934-3452
Bishop Gerard Bergie of St. Catharines
Bishop Vincent Cadieux of Moosonee and Hearst
Bishop Fred Colli of Thunder Bay
Bishop Douglas Crosby of Hamilton
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Bishop Marcel Damphousse of Alexandria-Cornwall
Bishop Nicola De Angelis of Peterborough
Bishop Ronald Fabbro of London
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Bishop Michael Mulhall of Pembroke
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Archbishop Brendan O'Brien of Kingston
Bishop Jean-Louis Plouffe of Sault Ste-Marie
Bishop Serge Poitras of Timmins
Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa
Kevin O’Dwyer, President of OECTA