November 8, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Billionaire investor George Soros’ support for abortion is not limited to the funding of Planned Parenthood. Soros’ Open Society Foundations has given large grants to the International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC) and Women's Link Worldwide (WLW), which is connected to the controversial Center for Reproductive Rights.
WLW, which has operated for more than 15 years with little scrutiny, is at forefront of a movement to destroy legal protections for the unborn in Latin America, a region that is still very much pro-life.
Last year, Dcleaks.com released several documents from Soros’ Open Society Foundations (OSF). Among them was “Women's Rights Program (WRP) Portfolio Review on 2014 grant making” dated December 16, 2015. This document details the two-year, $400,000 grant given to WLW, “a significant field player” with global reach.
The portfolio reveals that the grant doubled in size and duration as a sign of “interest in and commitment to their work,” and to give “the flexibility to implement their new strategy.” According to the document, WLW has plans to expand its work to East Africa.
WLW is described as “a 14-year-old international human rights organization based in Spain and Colombia” that is “known for its strategic litigation and related advocacy.” In other words, WLW is quick to file lawsuits to promote abortion.
According to an intern working with WLW, the group kept an online database of international cases on related issues from Spanish and international courts and tribunals, especially the European Court of Human Rights and the Inter-American Court.
The organization is further characterized in the leaked portfolio as “relatively small and nimble” and “at the front of breakthroughs in SRHR (sexual and reproductive health and rights) in Latin America, including a historic constitutional case establishing the right to abortion in Colombia,” a country where abortion was once completely prohibited.
WLW also started a Gender Justice Observatory and established “the attention-getting Gender Justice Uncovered Awards that gave gavels for legal decisions by judges, human rights committees and other legal institution that promote gender equality, and bludgeons for those considered to be sexist.”
The leaked document additionally reveals that WLW was created by lawyers who were former staff of the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR). Formerly known as the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy, CRR is no stranger to controversy.
For instance, in 2010 the group lobbied the UN to recognize abortion providers as “human rights defenders” in the United States and around the world.
Several leaked documents involving CRR were anonymously mailed to the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, and then reprinted in the Congressional Record by Rep. Chris Smith in 2003 to show “deceptive practices used by the abortion lobby.”
One of these leaked documents quotes a CRR trustee as saying, ‘‘We have to fight harder, be a little dirtier.’’ Smith argued that “abortion promotion groups are planning to push abortion here and abroad, not by direct argument, but by twisting words and definitions.”
A CRR memo acknowledges that “there is a stealth quality to the work: we are achieving incremental recognition of values without a huge amount of scrutiny from the opposition. These lower profile victories will gradually put us in a strong position to assert a broad consensus around our assertions.’’
Weekly Standard editor Joseph Bottum commented on the CRR tactics spoken “behind closed doors,” explaining that “such disingenuousness is necessary for the abortion activists' strategy, which consists primarily of inserting vague passages in as many international treaties, reports, and working papers as possible — and then getting the enforcement agencies and entities such as the European Court of Human Rights to interpret those passages to mean a universal right to abortion has been established.”
Bottum added that CRR strategy sessions reveal that the abortion activists' legal briefs “routinely cite phrases they themselves crafted in U.N. directives, international court decisions, and treaty-organization minutes.”
Unfortunately, WLW’s success in Colombia could serve as a blueprint for abortion activists. In “Abortion in the United States: A Reference Handbook”, Dorothy E. McBride writes that “if there is to be a change in the abortion policy in most Latin American countries it is likely to follow the lead of the high court in Colombia.” Colombia is one of the most populous countries in Latin America, a nation of 48 million people.
McBride described the successful challenge of the Colombian law by WLW attorneys in 2006 “as a violation of its international treaty obligations to ensure human rights, in this case, a woman’s right to life and health.” The court allowed for abortion when women’s life or physical and mental health is in danger, and in the cases of rape, incest, and fetal deformity. The abortion side saw it “as a promising venue to change.”
Monica Roa of WLW admitted that “the key to her success (in Colombia) was to take up the matter with the constitutional court and not seek legal reform through the legislature, an approach that had failed six times in the past.” She also said “she avoided becoming mired in a public debate with Colombia’s influential Catholic Church.”
WLW strategy was to change the law by excluding the legislative body and the country’s Catholics, who constitute 90 percent of the country’s population. It was easier to influence a small group of judges to achieve the goal in a 5-3 decision. And of course, international law was used for this purpose.
In 2005, shortly before it happened, a Colombian politician, Rafael Nieto Loaiza, wrote about abortion activists’ efforts to use the country’s court system to impose abortion on an unwilling country. Nieto is cited by LifeSiteNews describing a campaign of media trickery to sell abortion to Colombian courts and the public.
According to this article, Roa of WLW was “spearheading a duplicitous media and legal campaign, organizing a number of groups to submit amicus briefs to the court and hiring a media consultant to sell the notion of abortion to the public.” One example of the strategy involved, counter-intuitively, radical leftist lawyer criticizing Roa’s efforts as not going far enough. The idea was to portray Roa as more moderate.
More recently, WLW has tried to use a health crisis — specifically the Zika virus — to push its abortion agenda. In an NPR interview, Roa stated, “In the countries where the law doesn't allow (abortion) … the debate should be on the table and discussed in the context (of Zika virus infections).”