OTTAWA, Apr 2 ( – A women’s march which began in Canada and turned radically feminist,  adding to its agenda the demand for unrestricted abortion and lesbian activism, has been supported by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), the Catholic Women’s League (CWL), and the Ontario Catholic Teachers Association. Furthermore, the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace is listed on the march’s website as a “financial partner” in the “100,000 $ and more” category.

The CCCB explains that its endorsement of World March for Women 2000 endorses only “the March’s objectives of ending poverty and violence against women in keeping with the position of the Holy See at several recent International Conferences.” Thus, “it does not interpret the terms “reproductive health”, “sexual health” and “reproductive rights” as including abortion or access to abortion.” “Nor (does) it accept ambiguous terminology concerning unqualified control over sexuality and fertility insofar as it could be interpreted as societal endorsement of abortion or homosexuality.”

However, despite the best wishes of the bishops, the organizers of the March are clear in their intent for the language to include abortion and lesbian activism. Under the category “Demands to eliminate violence against women” in the official “World Demands of the March,”  section V-2 demands that “all states must recognize a woman’s right to determine her own destiny, and to exercise control over her body and reproductive function.” And in keeping with this abortion mandate, the march also demands “that States harmonize their national laws with”  the abortion promoting International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

The lesbian activism in the official document comes in the same category in section V-10 and V-11 which say that “based on the principle of equality of all persons, the United Nations and States of the international community recognize formally that a person’s sexual orientation should not bar them from the full exercise of the rights.”

They also demand “that the right to asylum for victims of discrimination and persecution based on sexual orientation be adopted as soon as possible.”

Despite the war of words, the fact that pro-abortion activism is one of the objectives of the march is clear even to some of the other major Catholic sponsors of the March. Although the CWL realizes that this march is a march for abortion among other things, the Catholic group has nonetheless decided to officially urge their membership to participate. A letter from CWL National President Sheilah Pellerin to CWL Diocesan Presidents says : “it is our hope that this will be an all council endeavour.”

However, an additional letter sent by CWL Ontario Provincial President Betty Anne Brown warns local CWL presidents that if they order kits from the March of Women organization they should remove the “document outlining the national demands for the March” and other materials since they identify one of the key demands of the march as (according to the CWL letter) “the right to free, public abortion services.” The CWL letter argues that it does not support this demand of the march. However, the action to remove the demands of the march leaves the membership encouraged to participate unknowingly in a march demanding “the right to free, public abortion services.”

Contact your local CWL with this information.
Contact your local Bishop with your concerns.


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