Hilary White, Rome Correspondent

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Radical pro-abort bill being pushed on Tanzania by international organizations

Hilary White, Rome Correspondent
Hilary White, Rome Correspondent

ROME, February 13, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A new “reproductive health” bill being proposed in Tanzania’s National Assembly is “pure western imperialism,” according to a local pro-life leader. Emil Hagamu, Human Life International’s Regional Coordinator for English-Speaking Africa, called the bill “foreign ideology that is being imposed on our African culture whose objective is depopulation.”

“Western countries want to exploit our natural resources and they know they can only do so if they suppress the growing population of young people and next generations,” he told LifeSiteNews.com.

The purpose of the bill, called the “Safe Motherhood” bill, is to change the way Tanzanians think about family life, children and marriage, Hagamu said.

The bill, being sponsored by Care International and brought before a legislative committee this month, will usher in the total abortion and contraceptive “reproductive health” program pushed by such groups as Planned Parenthood International.

In a detailed analysis made available to LSN, Hagamu says the bill will create effective abortion on demand, for any reason or none, and place a legal penalty on health care providers who refuse to participate. Currently abortion is legal in Tanzania in cases where the mother’s “life,” is at risk, and legal precedent exists for abortion in cases where the woman’s “mental” or “physical health” are at risk.

The bill proposes to expand the current abortion law to allow the killing of children who are suspected of “a severe physical or mental abnormality,” who resulted from rape or incest, and in cases where the pregnant woman is “a mentally disordered person,” and “is not capable of appreciating pregnancy.” Health ministers will be required to designate abortion facilities from among existing health centers.

The bill, Hagamu said, “undermines and bypasses African cultural and moral values” about the raising of children; “disregards the religious laws and practice on marriage”; and “will criminalize” pro-life and Christian teachings on contraception. Tanzania is 30 percent Christian, 30-35 percent Muslim and 35 percent followers of “indigenous beliefs.”

“The whole document puts emphasis on reproductive health - with emphasis on contraception to minors and young people,” he said.

Care International sponsored the bill under a cloak of secrecy, Hagamu told LSN. “Care International have done it with secrecy and speed that if not for God’s intervention we might have seen the law passing without any of us knowing what transpired in the process.”

The bill proposes to make contraception, including hormonal drugs, “universally accessible and mandatory to minors without parental knowledge or consent.” It says that all forms of contraception will be made available based on “individual rights to control fertility.” “It shall be the duty of government to provide access to contraception and family planning services including commodities, counseling, information and education.”

The need for the bill was discussed at “safe motherhood stakeholders” meetings over the last year organized by the sponsors, “which underscored the need to formulate a law that would protect pregnant women from maternal mortality and infant mortality,” the Tanzania Daily News reports.

International pressure is coming on strong in support of the bill, with media organs like the New York Times asserting that Tanzania’s current laws are creating “a deadly toll of abortion by amateurs,” and international pressure groups like the European Pro-Choice Network claiming that Tanzania is suffering a “silent pandemic of unsafe abortion.”

At the same time, the UNFPA, UNICEF and UNWomen are claiming that Tanzania is experiencing unusually high population growth that must be curbed. Speaker of the country’s National Parliament, the Hon. Anne Makinda, told a meeting of the UNFPA that population growth is a “critical issue” for Tanzania.

“Our country has one of the highest rates of population growth in the world; on average every Tanzania woman gives birth to five or six children,” Makinda said. 

According to the latest government statistics, however, this was an exaggerated estimate at best. Tanzania is at or slightly below the average overall fertility rate of most developing countries in Africa, with 4.16 children born per woman.

The country has a total population of about 42.7 million and a population growth rate of 2.002 percent. This is compared to neighbouring Kenya with a population just over 41 million, an overall fertility rate of 4.19 children born per woman and a population growth rate of 2.462 percent. Another Tanzania neighbour, Zambia, has a population of 14 million, an overall fertility rate of 5.98 children born per woman and a population growth rate of 3.062 percent.

What does stand out in Tanzania’s statistics is the high rate of maternal mortality, with 790 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2008. This is compared to Zambia with 470 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births and Kenya with 530 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in the same year.

The abortion lobby continues to insist that legalized abortion, always equated with “safe abortion,” is the premier solution to maternal morality and morbidity (birth-related injuries and illness). But organizations that do maternal health care work while rejecting abortion, confirm that lowering maternal mortality rates depends on getting women proper obstetric health care before and after their children are born.

Matercare International, a group that has worked in maternal health care in Africa since 1981, says that maternal deaths and injury and abortions are “readily preventable” but that there is little interest on the international stage.

Most of the maternal deaths in Africa, the group says, occur among “very young mothers, in small villages, and a few at a time.” One of the most common causes of maternal death and illness is obstetric fistula that can be reversed with a simple surgical procedure. Matercare International founder, obstetrician Dr. Robert Walley, says, “Most die in terror from haemorrhage or in agony from obstructed labour.”

All of these conditions are treatable by competent, professionally trained obstetric physicians and nurses, and it is the lack of this training that is the real cause of the problem, not the lack of “safe” legal abortion. Dr. Walley maintains that the staggering rates of maternal death and abortion in Africa can be put down to “neglect” by international health organizations obsessed with abortion.

“Mothers in the developing world do not have access to safe, clean, dignified places to have their babies or access to expert medical services to look after them and while obstetric fistulae can be treated surgically.”


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LifeSiteNews staff

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Quebec groups launch court challenge to euthanasia bill

LifeSiteNews staff
By LifeSiteNews staff

As announced when the Quebec legislature adopted Bill 52, An Act respecting end-of-life care, the citizen movement Living with Dignity and the Physicians’ Alliance against Euthanasia, representing together over 650 physicians and 17,000 citizens, filed a lawsuit before the Superior Court of Quebec in the District of Montreal on Thursday.

The lawsuit requests that the Court declare invalid all the provisions of the Act that deal with “medical aid in dying”, a term the groups say is a euphemism for euthanasia. This Act not only allows certain patients to demand that a physician provoke their death, but also grants physicians the right to cause the death of these patients by the administration of a lethal substance.

The two organizations are challenging the constitutionality of those provisions in the Act which are aimed at decriminalizing euthanasia under the euphemism “medical aid in dying”. Euthanasia constitutes a culpable homicide under Canada’s Criminal Code, and the organizations maintain that it is at the core of the exclusive federal legislative power in relation to criminal law and Quebec therefore does not have the power to adopt these provisions.

The organizations also say the impugned provisions unjustifiably infringe the rights to life and to security of patients guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. They further infringe the right to the safeguard of the dignity of the person, which is also protected by the Quebec Charter.

In view of the gravity of the situation and the urgent need to protect all vulnerable persons in Quebec, they are requesting an accelerated management of the case in order to obtain a judgment before the Act is expected to come into force on December 10, 2015.


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Colorado baker appeals gvmt ‘re-education’ order

LifeSiteNews staff
By LifeSiteNews staff

A Colorado cake artist who declined to use his creative talents to promote and endorse a same-sex ceremony appealed a May 30 order from the Colorado Civil Rights Commission to the Colorado Court of Appeals Wednesday.

The commission’s order requires cake artist Jack Phillips and his staff at Masterpiece Cakeshop to create cakes for same-sex celebrations, forces him to re-educate his staff that Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act means that artists must endorse all views, compels him to implement new policies to comply with the commission’s order, and requires him to file quarterly “compliance” reports for two years. The reports must include the number of patrons declined a wedding cake or any other product and state the reason for doing so to ensure he has fully eliminated his religious beliefs from his business.

“Americans should not be forced by the government – or by another citizen – to endorse or promote ideas with which they disagree,” said the cake artist’s lead counsel Nicolle Martin, an attorney allied with Alliance Defending Freedom. “This is not about the people who asked for a cake; it’s about the message the cake communicates. Just as Jack doesn’t create baked works of art for other events with which he disagrees, he doesn’t create cake art for same-sex ceremonies regardless of who walks in the door to place the order.”

“In America, we don’t force artists to create expression that is contrary to their convictions,” added Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. “A paint artist who identifies as homosexual shouldn’t be intimidated into creating a painting that celebrates one-man, one-woman marriage. A pro-life photographer shouldn’t be forced to work a pro-abortion rally. And Christian cake artists shouldn’t be punished for declining to participate in a same-sex ceremony or promote its message.”

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In July 2012, Charlie Craig and David Mullins asked Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, to make a wedding cake to celebrate their same-sex ceremony. In an exchange lasting about 30 seconds, Phillips politely declined, explaining that he would gladly make them any other type of baked item they wanted but that he could not make a cake promoting a same-sex ceremony because of his faith. Craig and Mullins, now represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, immediately left the shop and later filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division. The case now goes to the Colorado Court of Appeals as Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Craig.

“Jack, and other cake artists like him – such as those seen on TV shows like ‘Ace of Cakes’ and ‘Cake Boss’ – prepare unique creations that are inherently expressive,” Tedesco explained. “Jack invests many hours in the wedding cake creative process, which includes meeting the clients, designing and sketching the cake, and then baking, sculpting, and decorating it. The ACLU calls Jack a mere ‘retail service provider,’ but, in fact, he is an artist who uses his talents and abilities to create expression that the First Amendment fully protects."

Celebrity cake artists have written publicly about their art and the significant expressive work that goes into the artistic design process for wedding cakes.


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Prisoner of conscience Mary Wagner appeals her conviction

Tony Gosgnach
By Tony Gosgnach

TORONTO -- As promised, Mary Wagner has, through her counsel Dr. Charles Lugosi, filed a formal notice of appeal on numerous points regarding her recent, almost two-year-long court case that ended on June 12.

Justice Fergus O’Donnell of the Ontario Court of Justice rejected every application made by the defence – including for access to abortion center records, public funding, standing for a constitutional challenge and for expert witnesses to be heard – before he found Wagner guilty and sentenced her to five months in jail on a charge of mischief and four months on four counts of failing to comply with probation orders.

He further levied two years of probation, with terms that she stay at least 100 metres away from any abortion site. However, because Wagner had spent a greater time in jail than the sentence, she was freed immediately. She had been arrested at the “Women’s Care Clinic” abortion site on Lawrence Avenue West in Toronto on August 15, 2012 after attempting to speak to abortion-bound women there. She then spent the duration of the trial in prison for refusing to sign bail conditions requiring her to stay away from abortion sites.

Wagner is using the matter as a test case to challenge the current definition of a human being in Canadian law – that is, that a human being is legally recognized as such only after he or she has fully emerged from the birth canal in a breathing state.

Wagner’s notice states the appeal is regarding:

  • Her conviction and sentence on a single count of mischief (interference with property),
  • Her conviction and sentence on four counts of breach of probation,
  • The order denying public funding,
  • The order denying the disclosure of third-party records,
  • The order denying the admission of evidence from experts on the applicant’s constitutional challenge concerning the constitutional validity of Section 223 of the Criminal Code,
  • The order denying the admission of evidence from experts concerning the construction of Section 37 of the Criminal Code,
  • The probation order denying Wagner her constitutional rights to freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of conscience and freedom of religion on all public sidewalks and public areas within 100 metres of places where abortions are committed,
  • And each conviction and sentence and all orders and rulings made by O’Donnell.

In the notice of appeal, Lugosi cites numerous points on which O’Donnell erred:

  • He denied Wagner her constitutional right to make full answer and defence.
  • He denied Wagner her right to rely on Section 37 of the Criminal Code, which permits “everyone” to come to the third-party defence and rescue of any human being (in this case, the preborn) facing imminent assault.
  • He decided the factual basis of Wagner’s constitutional arguments was a waste of the court’s time and that no purpose would have been served by having an evidentiary hearing on her Charter application because, in the current state of Canadian law, it had no possibility of success.
  • He misapplied case law and prejudged the case, “giving rise to a reasonable apprehension of bias and impeding the legal evolution of the law to adapt to new circumstances, knowledge and changed societal values and morals.”
  • He accepted the Crown’s submission that it is beyond the jurisdiction of the courts to question the jurisdiction of Parliament legally to define “human being” in any manner Parliament sees fit.
  • He ruled Section 223 of the Criminal Code is not beyond the powers of Section 52 of the Constitution Act, 1982.
  • He ruled Section 223 of the Criminal Code does not violate the Preamble to, as well as Sections 7, 11(d), 15 and 26, of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
  • He denied Wagner standing to raise a constitutional challenge to the validity of Section 223 of the Criminal Code.
  • He ruled that Section 223 of the Criminal Code applied generally throughout the entire Criminal Code and used it to deny unborn human beings the benefit of equal protection as born human beings under Section 37 of the Criminal Code.
  • He denied the production and disclosure of third-party records in the possession of the “Women’s Care Clinic” abortion site, although the records were required to prove Wagner was justified in using reasonable force in the form of oral and written words to try to persuade pregnant mothers from killing their unborn children by abortion.
  • He denied Wagner the defence of Section 37 of the Criminal Code by ruling unborn children did not come within the scope of human beings eligible to be protected by a third party.
  • He ruled Wagner did not come within the scope of Section 37 because she was found to be non-violent (in that she did not use physical force).
  • He ruled the unborn children Wagner was trying to rescue were not under her protection.
  • He denied Wagner the common-law defences of necessity and the rescue of third parties in need of protection.
  • He denied Wagner public funding to make full answer and defence for a constitutional test case of great public importance and national significance.
  • He imposed an unconstitutional sentence upon Wagner by, in effect, imposing an injunction as a condition of probation, contrary to her constitutional rights of free speech, freedom of expression, freedom of conscience and freedom of religion.

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Among the orders Lugosi is seeking are:

  • That an appeal be allowed against conviction on all counts and that a verdict of acquittal be entered on all counts,
  • That Section 223 of the Criminal Code be found unconstitutional  and contrary to Section 52 of the Constitution Act, 1982, as well as the unwritten constitution of Canada,
  • That the sentence be declared unconstitutional and contrary to Section 52 of the Constitution Act, 1982, and the unwritten constitution of Canada or that a new trial be conducted, with Wagner permitted to make full answer and defence, be given standing to make a constitutional attack on Section 223 of the Criminal Code, with the admission of expert witnesses,
  • That the Women’s Care Clinic abortion site be made to produce third-party records pertaining to patients seen on August 15, 2012 (when Wagner entered the site),
  • And that there be public funding for two defence counsels at any retrial and for any appeal related to the case.

No date has yet been established for a decision on the appeal or hearings.

A defence fund for Wagner’s case is still raising money. Details on how to contribute to it can be found here.


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