Joseph Meaney

Roe v. Wade’s bitter international fruits

Joseph Meaney
By Joseph Meaney

Janaury 28, 2013 (HLIWorldWatch) - The 40 year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court abortion decision Roe v. Wade brings us to a biblical number fraught with symbolic importance. Psalm 95 laments: “Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and I said, ‘It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways.’”

Those laboring in the “pro-life vineyard” may certainly be justified in looking on these past years as a time of wandering in the desert with relatively few tangible results. But the remarkable achievements of literally thousands of pro-life counseling centers that have saved so many lives from abortion must be acknowledged. It remains true, however, that progress towards making abortion not only illegal but unthinkable remains painfully slow.

We can also see these four decades as a period of purification and preparation. It is up to us now to conquer the promised land of a civilization that is rooted in love and respect for all our brothers and sisters. Today selfishness and the convenience of the stronger are enshrined as “rights.”

The deadliest poison of the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling was the finding of a constitutional “right to privacy” identified with virtually abortion-on-demand. We should remember, however, that the stepping stone for Roe’s “right to privacy” in U.S. constitutional law was the Griswold v. Connecticut Supreme Court decision of 1965 that invoked this same “right” to invalidate a state law banning birth control. It serves to confirm Blessed John Paul II’s insight that contraception and abortion are “fruits of the same tree.”

Up until Roe v. Wade, countries as varied as Nazi Germany, communist Russia and democratic Britain agreed on one thing at least when they legalized killing in the womb: They saw abortion as an evil to be tolerated in certain circumstances or to be inflicted on enemies. The general legislative pattern was depenalization: in other words, abortion remained a crime but was not punished by legal sanctions if performed under certain specific circumstances or conditions. Of course, many countries simply banned the practice of abortion. Among the others who permit it, the most common limitations remain a 12th week of pregnancy time limit for abortions and the obligation for the mother to receive pre-abortion counseling with the stated objective of providing alternatives to and reasons not to have an abortion.

U.S.-style “abortion as a constitutional right” was revolutionary. Radical feminists, Planned Parenthood and their minions realized this notion was a goldmine. The terminology of the “right to privacy” was tweaked by academics into the “right” to “reproductive health” or simply “reproductive rights.”

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The 1994 United Nations International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo produced a Programme of Action which was the first inter-governmental negotiated document to use these terms. In fact, the Clinton administration and others had made no secret of their plans to use the Cairo ICPD to proclaim an “international right to abortion.” Fortunately, John Paul II and a coalition of pro-life nations and organizations thwarted this attempt at a Roe v. Wade for the world. Nevertheless, the battle to impose a “right” to abortion globally was on.

Taking their cue from the U.S. experience, feminist lawyers created The Center for Reproductive Rights whose mission is to use “the law to advance reproductive freedom as a fundamental human right that all governments are legally obligated to protect, respect, and fulfill.” They have so far involved themselves in lawsuits and other legal actions in 50 countries. Declaring never before recognized “rights” and coercing others into implementing and footing the bill for them is a favorite liberal tactic.

The U.S. Constitution nowhere includes the phrase “right to privacy.” The U.S. Supreme Court’s formulation of the discovery of a constitutional “right to privacy” simply takes one’s breath away. “The foregoing cases suggest that specific guarantees in the Bill of Rights have penumbras formed by emanations from those guarantees that help give them life and substance.” A penumbra is the lighter part of a shadow, and this argument is embarrassingly intellectually lightweight as even many pro-abortion academics reluctantly admit.

Similarly, no international reproductive right to abortion has been recognized, but that has not deterred the apostles of abortion. They take comfort in the fact that Roe v. Wade has yet to be reversed and thrown onto the ash-heap of history. Rather it is treated as something of a “sacred cow” of American jurisprudence. Witness the reverential tone with which liberal senators refer to the “right to privacy” in Supreme Court justice confirmation hearings.

As hundreds of thousands of pro-life protestors join the March for Life in Washington, D.C. this year we should remember that getting rid of Roe v. Wade is an urgent need for the world and not just the United States. The “right to abortion” must be buried as definitively as the “right to own slaves” and other similar legal travesties.

Joseph Meaney is the director of international coordination for Human Life International. He resides in Rome, Italy. This article reprinted with permission from HLIWorldWatch.org.

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Lisa Bourne

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Pressure mounts as Catholic Relief Services fails to act on VP in gay ‘marriage’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne
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Rick Estridge, Catholic Relief Services' Vice President of Overseas Finance, is in a same-sex "marriage," public records show. Twitter

BALTIMORE, MD, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Nearly a week after news broke that a Catholic Relief Services vice president had contracted a homosexual “marriage” while also publicly promoting homosexuality on social media in conflict with Church teaching, the US Bishops international relief agency has taken no apparent steps to address the matter and is also not talking.

CRS Vice President of Overseas Finance Rick Estridge entered into a homosexual “marriage” in Maryland the same month in 2013 that he was promoted by CRS to vice president, public records show.

Despite repeated efforts at a response, CRS has not acknowledged LifeSiteNews’ inquiries during the week. And the agency told ChurchMilitant.com Thursday that no action had been taken beyond discussion of the situation and CRS would have no further comment.

"Nothing has changed,” CRS Senior Manager for Communications Tom said. “No further statement will be made."

LifeSiteNews first contacted CRS for a response prior to the April 20 release of the report and did not receive a reply, however Estridge’s Facebook and LinkeIn profiles were then removed just prior to the report’s release.

CRS also did not acknowledge LifeSiteNews’ follow-up inquiry later in the week.

“Having an executive who publicly celebrates a moral abomination shows the ineffectiveness of CRS' Catholic identity training,” Lepanto Institute President Michael Hichborn told LifeSiteNews. “How many others who hate Catholic moral teaching work at CRS?”

CRS did admit it was aware Estridge was in a “same-sex civil marriage” to Catholic News Agency (CNA) Monday afternoon, and confirmed he was VP of Overseas Finance and had been with CRS for 16 years.

“At this point we are in deliberations on this matter,” Price told CNA that day.

ChurchMilitant.com also reported that according to its sources, it was a well-known fact at CRS headquarters in Baltimore that Estridge was in a homosexual “marriage.” 

“There is no way CRS didn't know one of its executives entered into a mock-marriage until we broke the story,” Hichborn said. “The implication is clear; CRS top brass had no problem with having an executive so deliberately flouting Catholic moral teaching.”

“The big question is,” Hichborn continued, “what other morally repugnant matters is CRS comfortable with?”

While the wait continues for the Bishops’ relief organization to address the matter, those behind the report and other critics of prior instances of CRS involvement in programs and groups that violate Church principles continue to call for a thorough and independent review of the agency programs and personnel.

“How long should it take to call an employee into your office, tell him that his behavior is incompatible with the mission of the organization, and ask for his resignation?” asked Population Research Institute President Steven Mosher. “About thirty minutes, I would say.”

“The Catholic identity of CRS is at stake,” Hichborn stated. “If CRS does nothing, then there is no way faithful Catholics can trust the integrity of CRS's programs or desire to make its Catholicity preeminent.” 

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Thousands of marriage activists gathered in D.C. June 19, 2014 for the 2nd March for Marriage. Dustin Siggins / LifeSiteNews.com
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Watch the March for Marriage online—only at LifeSiteNews

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WASHINGTON, D.C., April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- At noon on Saturday, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and dozens of cosponsors, coalition partners, and speakers will launch the third annual March for Marriage. Thousands of people are expected to take place in this important event to show the support real marriage has among the American people.

As the sole media sponsor of the March, LifeSiteNews is proud to exclusively livestream the March. Click here to see the rally at noon Eastern Time near the U.S. Capitol, and the March to the Supreme Court at 1:00 Eastern Time.

And don't forget to pray that God's Will is done on Tuesday, when the Supreme Court hears arguments about marriage!

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Hillary Clinton: ‘Religious beliefs’ against abortion ‘have to be changed’

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By Ben Johnson

NEW YORK CITY, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Speaking to an influential gathering in New York City on Thursday, Hillary Clinton declared that “religious beliefs” that condemn "reproductive rights," “have to be changed.”

“Yes, we've cut the maternal mortality rate in half, but far too many women are still denied critical access to reproductive health,” Hillary told the Women in the World Summit yesterday.

Liberal politicians use “reproductive health” as a blanket term that includes abortion. However, Hillary's reference echoes National Organization for Women (NOW) president Terry O’Neill's op-ed from last May that called abortion “an essential measure to prevent the heartbreak of infant mortality.”

The Democratic presidential hopeful added that governments should throw the power of state coercion behind the effort to redefine traditional religious dogmas.

“Rights have to exist in practice, not just on paper. Laws have to be backed up with resources, and political will,” she said. “Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed.”

The line received rousing applause at the feminist conference, hosted in Manhattan's Lincoln Center by Tina Brown.

She also cited religious-based objections to the HHS mandate, funding Planned Parenthood, and the homosexual and transgender agenda as obstacles that the government must defeat.

“America moves ahead when all women are guaranteed the right to make their own health care choices, not when those choices are taken away by an employer like Hobby Lobby,” she said. The Supreme Court ruled last year that closely held corporations had the right to opt out of the provision of ObamaCare requiring them to provide abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization to employees with no co-pay – a mandate that violates the teachings of the Catholic Church and other Christian bodies.

Clinton lamented that “there are those who offer themselves as leaders...who would defund the country's leading provider of family planning,” Planned Parenthood, “and want to let health insurance companies once again charge women just because of our gender.”

“We move forward when gay and transgender women are embraced...not fired from good jobs because of who they love or who they are,” she added.

It is not the first time the former first lady had said that liberal social policies should displace religious views. In a December 2011 speech in Geneva, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said perhaps the “most challenging issue arises when people cite religious or cultural values as a reason to violate or not to protect the human rights of LGBT citizens.” These objections, she said, are “not unlike the justification offered for violent practices towards women like honor killings, widow burning, or female genital mutilation.”

While opinions on homosexuality are “still evolving,” in time “we came to learn that no [religious] practice or tradition trumps the human rights that belong to all of us.”

Her views, if outside the American political mainstream, have been supported by the United Nations. The UN Population Fund stated in its 2012 annual report that religious objections to abortion-inducing drugs had to be overcome. According to the UNFPA report, “‘duty-bearers’ (governments and others)” have a responsibility to assure that all forms of contraception – including sterilization and abortion-inducing ‘emergency contraception’ – are viewed as acceptable – “But if they are not acceptable for cultural, religious or other reasons, they will not be used.”

Two years later, the United Nations' Committee on the Rights of the Child instructed the Vatican last February that the Catholic Church should amend canon law “relating to abortion with a view to identifying circumstances under which access to abortion services may be permitted.”

At Thursday's speech, Hillary called the legal, state-enforced implementation of feminist politics “the great unfinished business of the 21st century,” which must be accomplished “not just for women but for everyone — and not just in far away countries but right here in the United States.”

“These are not just women's fights. These have to be America's fights and the world's fights,” she said. “There's still much to be done in our own country, much more to be done around the world, but I'm confident and optimistic that if we get to work, we will get it done together.”

American critics called Clinton's suggestion that a nation founded upon freedom of religion begin using state force to change religious practices unprecedented.

“Never before have we seen a presidential candidate be this bold about directly confronting the Catholic Church's teachings on abortion,” said Bill Donohue of the Catholic League.

“In one sense, this shows just how extreme the pro-abortion caucus actually is,” Ed Morrissey writes at HotAir.com. “Running for president on the basis of promising to use the power of government to change 'deep seated cultural codes [and] religious beliefs' might be the most honest progressive slogan in history.”

He hoped that, now that she had called for governments to change religious doctrines, “voters will now see the real Hillary Clinton, the one who dismisses their faith just the same as Obama did, and this time publicly rather than in a private fundraiser.”

Donohue asked Hillary “to take the next step and tell us exactly what she plans to do about delivering on her pledge. Not only would practicing Catholics like to know, so would Evangelicals, Orthodox Jews, Muslims, and all those who value life from conception to natural death.”

You may watch Hillary's speech below.

Her comments on religion begin at approximately 9:00. 

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