Adam Cassandra

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Wikileaks cable: U.S. gov’t largest supporter of Philippines population control in past 40 years

Adam Cassandra
By Adam Cassandra
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September 9, 2011 (HLIWorldWatch.org) - A diplomatic cable recently published by the controversial website Wikileaks confirms the depth of support by the U.S. government for population control initiatives in the Philippines over the past 40 years, including support for the highly contested Reproductive Health (RH) Bill currently under consideration in the Philippine legislature.

“Landmark appropriations and draft legislation reflect increasing commitment within the Philippine Government to further expand and sustain programs started forty years ago with U.S. Government’s assistance through USAID,” former U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Kristie Kenny said in the cable. “The U.S. Government continues to be the largest donor in the Philippine population sector supporting efforts to improve local government service delivery and increase private sector contributions to family health outcomes.”

The cable, sent from Manila to Washington, D.C. in July of 2008, was released by Wikileaks at a time of intense debate within the Philippine legislature, and among the Filipino people, about the state funding of contraceptives, abortifacients and other “family planning” services through the RH Bill. As the cable notes, the Catholic Church in the Philippines has led the opposition to the bill with the backing of pro-life organizations across the country.

“The new bill and its previous versions have raised the volume of the vigorous public debate on reproductive issues among between [sic] civil society, NGOs, the Catholic Church and legislators,” said Amb. Kenny. “The controversy has generated news media coverage and editorial commentary from all sides.”

Many Filipinos have openly questioned the international support of the bill by organizations pushing a population control agenda.

Philippine Senate Majority Leader Vicente Soto recently expressed concern over the “sinister” population control motives of some of the bill’s backers, saying, “We find groups, NGOs, pharmaceutical companies or business interests behind the bill or supporting people behind the bill, so this adds to our fears.”

“The same bill has been filed and re-filed since 1998’s 11th Congress (it is now the 15th), but as we have seen, its Western promoters have no intention of taking ‘no’ for an answer this time around,” said Dr. Ligaya Acosta, Regional Coordinator for Asia and Oceania for the international pro-life organization Human Life International (HLI), earlier this year. “Why, one might ask, does it keep reappearing, sometimes with different names or slightly revised content, if the people of the Philippines have so clearly rejected it? It reappears because it is fueled by mind-boggling amounts of money from international population control organizations, including the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), who have long expressed their concern that there are too many poor Filipinos for their comfort.”

Rep. Kimi Cojuangco of the Pangasinan province in the Philippines, a co-sponsor of the RH Bill, actually admitted that the bill was a means of population control during an exchange with another representative, saying the bill was “definitely” a population control measure, and agreeing that to curb poverty, the country needs a smaller population.

Another pro-RH Bill legislator Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago also admitted Monday that the bill still needs to be cleaned up of all references to population control, while acknowledging the influence in the bill of U.S. National Security Study Memorandum (NSSM) 200 during Senate debate.

NSSM-200, authored by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, “explicitly laid out a detailed strategy by which the United States would aggressively promote population control in developing nations in order to regulate (or have better access to) the natural resources of these countries,” according to Dr. Brian Clowes, Director of Research at HLI, in his 2004 publication Kissinger Report 2004: A Retrospective on NSSM-200.

“According to NSSM-200, elements of the implementation of population control programs could include: a) the legalization of abortion; b) financial incentives for countries to increase their abortion, sterilization and contraception-use rates; c) indoctrination of children; and d) mandatory population control, and coercion of other forms, such as withholding disaster and food aid unless [a country] implements population control programs,” wrote Dr. Clowes. “[T]he U.S. government has never renounced NSSM-200, but has only amended certain portions of its policy. NSSM-200, therefore, remains the foundational document on population control issued by the United States government.”

While it is highly unlikely that parties involved in promoting the RH Bill in the Philippines, or elsewhere, are directly familiar with NSSM-200, it is clear that its goals and assumptions have now become fundamental to the human development policies of the U.S. and other international governments and non-governmental organizations.

“USAID technical assistance enables pharmaceutical companies to launch lower-priced contraceptive products,” Amb. Kenny said in the cable, later adding, “Within the past three years, annual funding levels for population and family planning from the US Government have increased from around $13M to $15M.”

Under a section titled “So far, so good,” the ambassador noted that, “The use of oral contraceptive pills has increased steadily among the poor (by 30% in the past five years),” adding, “The poor spend around US$0.40 for pills, and the rich pay about US$1 for the same method.”

Amb. Kenny also pointed out that USAID assistance is “expanding the availability of accurate information on modern family planning methods within grass-roots communities.” [emphasis added]. The RH Bill currently contains a provision to fine and jail opponents who spread as-yet-undefined “malicious” falsehoods about the bill.

Dr. Acosta, who lives and works in the Philippines, said in an excerpt of a soon to be released interview while visiting the U.S. last month, “The American people have to know that America, very sadly, has become the greatest exporter of the culture of death – abortion, contraception – all of these things.”

“There’s so much money…I’m so amazed. I know that America is in crisis, but why is it…that America is giving billions of dollars, not only to my country, the Philippines, but all over Asia, Oceania and all over the world, to promote abortion and contraception?”

“What is important to note is not so much the scary-sounding name of a forty-year-old document like NSSM-200 that very few people have read, but to note how this new cable shows that its policy recommendations have been so perfectly implemented, and how language has evolved to make it sound like a positive thing for poor nations to stop having children for the sake of wealthy nations,” said Dr. Clowes in response to the release of the Wikileaks cable. “Even a proponent of the Philippines RH Bill, Senator Santiago, admits the concerns about population control, and stresses the need to use less offensive language – women’s health, poverty alleviation, and the like – to achieve the very same ends.”

“The question remains unanswered,” added Dr. Clowes. “When did it become acceptable for rich nations to pour billions of dollars into poor nations, all in an effort to get the poor to behave as the rich would prefer?”

This article reprinted with permission from HLIWorldWatch.org

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Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus

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Sydney archdiocese sends letters to businesses expressing concern over support of gay ‘marriage’

Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus
By Thaddeus Baklinski

June 29, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – The Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney has sent letters expressing "grave concern" to numerous corporations that had sponsored a full-page newspaper ad published in The Weekend Australian on June 13 promoting same-sex "marriage".

“You are publicly supporting a strategic, political and well-funded campaign designed to pressure the federal government into changing the Marriage Act,” reads the letter from archdiocese business manager Michael Digges to one of the businesses, the law firm of Maurice Blackburn.

“I wonder whether you have questioned whether it is the role of a corporation such as yours to be participating in such an ­important matter that impacts all of Australian society now and into the future," it continued.

"For corporations to speak on such issues on behalf of shareholders, employees, clients/customers, suppliers and other stakeholders is indeed overstepping their purpose and is to be strongly resisted," the letter stated.

Maurice Blackburn, along with more than 150 other businesses including Qantas, Google, MTV, McDonald's, Levi's and the Football Federation of Australia, put their names in the ad calling for the government to amend the Australian Marriage Act of 1961, which recognizes marriage as between one man and one woman, to include homosexual couples.

Maurice Blackburn's Liberty Sanger told the ABC the letter was “uncalled for” and “a very heavy-handed response,” noting that the position of the law firm is to "continue to show our support so that others who have the same view as us have the courage to speak up and encourage parliamentarians to make the right decision in the Parliament."

The letter to corporations asking them to stay out of the culture war surrounding same-sex "marriage" follows the distribution of a pastoral letter titled "Don’t Mess With Marriage" to Sydney parishes, staff and parents of children at Catholic schools.

“Don't Mess with Marriage “explains the Church's formal teachings on the Sacrament of Marriage, and it reaffirms and supports the definitions contained within the Marriage Act 1961 and the Marriage Act Amendment of 2004, which defines marriage as "a union between a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others."

It also details the implications of changing this law to permit same-sex couples to marry.

"The Church's contribution to informing the public debate is crucial," said Anthony Cleary, Director of Religious Education and Evangelization in a statement, "because at the moment this side of the argument is not being adequately covered either by social or the mainstream media."

Cleary pointed out that for people of faith, marriage is not simply a label that can be attached and transferred to different types of relationships as the fashion of the day dictates.

He explained that marriage for Catholics is not only an emotional union, but a total commitment of body and spirit, and that the Church teaches that God is the author of marriage and that the matrimonial covenant between baptized persons is holy and has the status of a sacrament.

Earlier in June a statement from the Sydney Archdiocese said that thirty-eight Australian religious leaders representing the major religious traditions and a broad diversity of faiths and cultures, have written a public letter to Prime Minister Tony Abbott, urging him to resist attempts in Federal Parliament to redefine the meaning of marriage.

"As leaders of Australia's major religions we write to express the grave concerns that we, and those who share our various faiths, share regarding Bills that have or will be introduced into the Federal Parliament to change the definition of marriage in Australian law," the letter said.

The 38 signatories include the Catholic and Anglican Archbishops of Sydney, a bishop of the Lutheran Church, bishops from various Eastern and Orthodox Churches, Christian pastors representing major Protestant denominations, senior rabbis from the Jewish community and leaders from both the Sunni and Shia Islamic communities.

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The religious leaders pointed out that Australia's definition of marriage as a union of a man and a woman is shared by the vast majority of nations and cultures, who represent over 91 percent of the global population.

Moreover, they emphasized the need to uphold traditional marriage for the good of children, stating that, "as a couple, two persons of the same sex are not able to provide a child with the experience of both mothering and fathering. Only the institution of marriage between a man and a woman has this inherent capacity to provide children with both of these relationships that are so foundational to our human identity and development."

The Abbott federal government had gone into the last election with the policy of supporting traditional marriage, meaning that the government MPs would be bound to vote against same-sex “marriage” on a party basis if a bill is put forward.

Australian law permits homosexual civil unions, but not marriage, a law which Abbott has defended.

Following May's referendum in Ireland legalizing same-sex "marriage", Abbott reiterated that Australia will not hold such a referendum, despite pressure from activists.

"Referendums are held in this country when there is a proposal to change our constitution and I don't think anyone is suggesting the constitution needs to be changed in this respect," Abbott said. "It's up to members of parliament who are eager for change to decide whether they want to bring it forward."

The letter from the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney to the law firm of Maurice Blackburn is available in two parts here and here.

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Supreme Court suspends Texas law that would have closed half of its abortion facilities

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By Ben Johnson

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 29, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – About half of the abortion facilities in Texas got a reprieve from the Supreme Court on its last day in session.

Justices ruled 5-4 that, right now, the state of Texas may not enforce health protection laws that would have put all but nine of the state's abortion offices out of business. The court's conservative bloc – Chief Justice John Roberts, joined by Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito – objected, but Anthony Kennedy cast the decisive vote with the court's liberals.

At issue is whether the state may require abortionists to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and require abortion facilities to meet the same health and safety codes as other ambulatory surgical centers.

The temporary stay of Senate Bill 5 lasts until the justices decide whether they will hear an appeal from the abortion industry, which argues the law's provisions would unduly restrict a woman's access to abortion-on-demand.

“The U.S. Supreme Court was swayed, not for the first time in a week, by illogical arguments,” said Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America. “By actively lobbying against common sense regulations that would make sure women have access to ‘safe, legal and rare’ abortions, Planned Parenthood and their allies are making a mockery of women’s health care.”

“The abortion industry cares only for their bottom line, and women and their prenatal children are merely dollar signs in their business cycle,” Hawkins said.

"Women and babies are being denied protections with the Supreme Court blocking pro-life legislation,” said Lila Rose of Live Action. “Contrary to what big abortion organizations would have us believe, the possible closure of abortion facilities is due to the refusal of these corporations to adhere to sensible and ordinary medical precautions. We look forward to the day that both the legislature and the Courts use their power to protect the most vulnerable among us."

State pro-life leaders regret the loopholes that they say put women's health at risk.

“Unfortunately, women who do not have abortions at any of the nine operating ambulatory surgical centers that perform abortions will continue to be subjected to substandard medical care,” said Joe Pojman, Ph.D., executive director of Texas Alliance for Life.

The ruling does not permanently enjoin the state. It does not even guarantee justices will hear the case.

Should they decline, the law will go into effect in its entirety.

Last October, the Supreme Court allowed Texas to implement these measures while the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals considered its decision in a 6-3 verdict. However, it added that the state must allow abortion facilities in El Paso and McAllen to operate subpar operations, defying greater protections for women, because closing those facilities would require women to drive a great distance to the next nearest abortion facility.

Earlier this month, a three-panel judge of the appeals court, based in New Orleans, upheld the health regulations. All three judges had been appointed by President George W. Bush.

Had the full requirements gone into effect, half of all the remaining abortion facilities in Texas would have closed.

The left-wing website ThinkProgress worried, if the High Court upheld the decision, it would mean that “Roe v. Wade is almost entirely dead.”

Today, representatives of the abortion lobby felt relief. "Our Constitution rightly protects women from laws that would create barriers to safe and legal abortion care, but Texas politicians have tried to sneak around the Constitution with sham regulations designed to close clinics’ doors," said Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a pro-life Republican, vowed to “continue to fight for higher-quality health care standards for women while protecting our most vulnerable – the unborn.”

“I’m confident the Supreme Court will ultimately uphold this law,” he added.

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Drew Belsky

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Post-Obergefell, states withdraw marriage licenses, ensure conscience protection

Drew Belsky
By Drew Belsky

June 29, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- Friday's Supreme Court ruling redefining marriage in the United States has caused a tumult in county clerks' offices.  While some states have begun issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples throughout, others have counties still waiting for directives from their respective attorneys general regarding how to proceed.

Louisiana governor and 2016 presidential candidate Bobby Jindal (R) announced that clerks in the Pelican State must wait 25 days before issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.  This is the period of time the state has to ask the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider its own ruling on the matter.  However, Jindal admitted on Meet the Press that Louisiana will likely have to comply with the Supreme Court's Obergefell ruling before long, and the governor's directive is binding only in New Orleans, which falls under his personal jurisdiction.

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In a statement, Jindal said, “Marriage between a man and a woman was established by God, and no earthly court can alter that.”

“This decision will pave the way for an all out assault against the religious freedom rights of Christians who disagree with this decision. This ruling must not be used as pretext by Washington to erode our right to religious liberty,” he said.

Two Alabama counties have stopped issuing marriage licenses altogether.  The probate judges in Pike and Geneva Counties cited Alabama law, which states that "[m]arriage licenses may [as opposed to shall] be issued by the judges of probate of the several counties."  Judges in other Alabama counties may do likewise.

Mississippi may follow suit as well, with Gov. Phil Bryant (R) having declared his intention "to do all that he can to protect and defend the religious freedoms of Mississippi."

Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves (R) echoed Bryant, calling the Supreme Court ruling an "overreach of the federal government," whose "powers should no longer be limited to those enumerated in our Constitution."

In Texas, prior to the Obergefell ruling, state attorney general Ken Paxton (R) had requested that county clerks hold off on granting marriage licenses to same-sex couples pending state approval.  However, several clerks post-Obergefell began processing licenses immediately, especially in large urban counties.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) condemned the Obergefell decision, blasting the Supreme Court for "abandon[ing] its role as an impartial judicial arbiter" and "becom[ing] a nine-member legislature."  Abbott promised to protect the religious liberty of Texas residents: "No Texan is required by the Supreme Court's decision to act contrary to his or her religious beliefs regarding marriage."

The Texas Senate's GOP caucus, calling Obergefell "an affront to the Texas Constitution," pledged to support Abbott and his attorney general "in any legal action [they] may take to defend the religious liberty of Texans in the wake of this troubling decision."

Harris County in Texas originally balked at issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples specifically because the forms read "man" and "woman," but the county's attorney's office directed clerks to issue the forms anyway, saying they could be corrected later.  Eventually, revised forms reading "applicant 1" and "applicant 2" were provided.

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