Vatican-led Global Anti-Abortion Campaign Finds Unusual Supporters

By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

VATICAN, January 28, 2008 ( - A campaign for a moratorium on abortion that began in Italy and is now being expanded to a worldwide effort by the Vatican, is being joined by people from across the ideological and religious spectrum, including individuals often identified with extreme leftism and atheism.

The idea for a worldwide moratorium on abortion originated with Giuliano Ferrara, a non-Christian journalist and former head of the Italian Communist Party in Turin.  Although he was once associated with a movement that in most of the world has come to identify itself with abortion, euthanasia, and other elements of the "culture of death", Ferrara is now strongly pro-life.

Responding to a recent decision by the United Nations to call for a moratorium on the death penalty, Ferrara urged that the moratorium be extended to a moratorium on the unjust killing of unborn children.  After introducing the idea in a television interview on December 18th, Ferrara published it in his opinion journal il Foglio.  From there it spread to the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano and the Italian Bishops’ Conference journal, Avvenire. The idea began to be echoed by Catholic cardinals.

Ferrara is joined by Lenin Raghavarshi, an Indian atheist and winner of the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights.  Raghavarshi told Asia News, "It is ridiculous and absurd to suggest that abortion is a solution to hunger, in order to control population growth.  What’s more the concept  - typical of UN organisations - that overpopulation represents the greatest danger to the health of a nation has no basis at all in reality‚Ķ In reality the world should urgently look at socio-economic and political issues to eliminate hunger, poverty, misery among people".

Raghavarshi identifies the global push for abortion with an agenda that serves the interests of multinational corporations at the expense of the poor and vulnerable.

"Malthus promoted the theory that the main problems of the world like poverty and other such inhuman situations of the marginalized are due to population, but this is completely unscientific idea and false theory," he told Asia News. He continued, "The multinational companies - who thrive on the industry of population control, push the agenda of population control through false propaganda - want to market and promote their products, because their sole aim is profit."

Perhaps the most prominent intellectual to have added his voice to Ferrara’s call for an international moratorium on abortion is the British philosopher Roger Scruton, whom the New Yorker magazine once called "the most influential philosopher in the world".  According to the Italian Catholic news agency Chiesa, he immediately endorsed the campaign after its announcement.

Ferrara has reportedly stated that he wishes to bring together such prominent intellectuals, as well as others such as Mary Ann Glendon, the former Harvard professor who is now US ambassador to the Vatican, and American bioethicist Leon Kass, to sign the petition.  He would also like to see "five million pilgrims of life and love, all in Rome next summer" to request that the United Nation’s "Universal Declaration of Human Rights" be amended to include "the right to be born," reports Chiesa.

Related Links:

"Let No One Touch the Child." The Church Blesses the Worldwide Moratorium on Abortion

Indian atheist supports the moratorium on abortion
  (Please note that although the article calls Raghavarshi a "communist", he denies this on his blog)

Vatican Announces Global Campaign for a "Moratorium" on Abortion

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