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Life News: The leading practitioner of euthanasia in Belgium, Dr Wim Distelmans, is organizing an instructional tour to Auschwitz, the Nazi extermination camp. In ’an invitation for a study trip for healthcare professionals,’ he describes Auschwitz as an ‘inspiring’ surrounding in which to ‘clarify confusion about euthanasia’.
First Things: U.N. experts in Geneva were at it again last week telling the Holy See that Catholic teaching on abortion is a human rights abuse.
The Christian Institute: A baby born in Scotland at the legal limit for abortion – 24 weeks – has now reached ten weeks old and is thriving.
Life News: A judge in England this week ruled that a pregnant 13-year-old girl can have an abortion, even though she is 30-weeks along.
Newsbusters: Working to save unborn lives is apparently tantamount to torture.
Zenit: Pro-life leaders from across the world met in Vatican City last Saturday for the first Rome Life Forum, an initiative which organizers plan on holding annually.
Politico: U.S. abortion opponents are giving new life to the movement abroad, where once-stagnant European allies are pushing changes that could affect the whole continent.
The Christian Institute: MPs are demanding a criminal investigation into evidence that dozens of doctors pre-signed abortion forms.
Business-Standard: “The Malta’s Minister for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties said Monday that the legalisation of abortion is a ‘categorical no at this point in time’”
KATU: “Concerned parents reached out to KATU News over demonstrations taking place near schools in the Battle Ground School District. Protesters with Vancouver Abolitionist Society were outside of Prairie High School this week promoting an anti-abortion agenda with pamphlets and graphic images.”
New York Times: “A packed hearing on a petition calling for the protection of human embryos led to a rare outbreak of raucous exchanges in the European Parliament on Thursday — a sign that the battles over abortion and stem cell research that divide nations like Spain and the United States are making a serious incursion into European Union affairs.”
LifeNews: “Speaking before the Italian pro-life group Movimento per la Vita, Pope Francis thanks pro-life activists for ‘promoting and defending human life from its conception.’”
The Catholic Register: “A surprisingly strong victory by the Liberals in Quebec’s April 7 election means euthanasia is off the table for now while signaling a greater acceptance of religious Quebeckers, informed observers said.”
Sun News: “A full colour sign showing the photo of newborn baby along with the text ‘Luc was born today but his life began nine months ago’ is posted on a large billboard on the Bedford highway and in many public transit bus shelters throughout the city.”
Los Angeles Times: “The Philippine Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a law guaranteeing access to birth control and sex education in a country that has high maternal mortality and ranks 53rd worldwide in total fertility rate.” | More information from Religion Clause.
Solar News: “The long wait may be over for both reproductive health advocates and pro-life groups as the Supreme Court (SC) is set to hand down Tuesday its ruling on the constitutionality of the controversial measure.”
National Post: “It’s time to move beyond the drawn out ‘yes’ or ‘no’ arguments over doctor-assisted death and prepare for a future where sick patients would be granted the freedom to choose when and how they die, doctors who specialize in caring for the terminally ill argue in Canada’s leading medical journal.”
Joe Carter at The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission: “The widespread use of sonogram technology—coupled with liberal abortion laws—has made it easier than ever for women to identify the sex of their child so that those without a Y chromosome can be killed before they’re even born. . . . The effects of this war on girls can be clearly seen in the changes in sex ratios at birth. Eberstadt explains that there is a ‘slight but constant and almost unvarying excess of baby boys over baby girls born in any population.’”
The Independent: “The Prime Minister indicated he would oppose a move to legalise allowing terminally ill adults with less than six months to live to choose to be helped to kill themselves.”
Belfast Telegraph: “Metropolitan Police have been authorised to charge Dr Majeed Ridha with encouraging or assisting either the administration or the supply of the drug with intent to procure a miscarriage.”
Caroline Farrow at Catholic Voices Comment: “The revelations show how far the UK’s abortion laws, introduced in 1967 on the grounds of compassion, have ended numbing our nation’s sensitivity to life. Treating foetal remains as nothing more than a waste product or potential source of energy may be the law’s inevitable corollary — especially for a hospital which treats abortion as merely a medical procedure.”
The New Zealand Herald: “The bodies of thousands of aborted and miscarried babies were incinerated as clinical waste, with some used to heat Britain’s hospitals, an investigation has found. Ten NHS trusts have admitted burning foetal remains alongside other rubbish while two others used the bodies in ‘waste-to-energy’ plants that generate power for heat.”
The Border Mail: “ALBURY Council has been called on to stop “sitting on its hands” and instead back efforts to end protests outside an Albury abortion clinic. Dr Pieter Mourik yesterday counted more than 5500 signatures on a petition that will now go before the council on Monday night.”
The Christian Institute: “David Cameron has hit out at sex-selective abortion as a ‘simply appalling practice,’ during questions in Parliament.”
Graeme Archer at the Telegraph: “Note also the proposal that euthanasia may be legally introduced only for those people with six months to live; people who will die quite soon. But we are all limited in time; this six-month hurdle feels entirely arbitrary. Some of the patients whose lives most break our hearts are those condemned to very much longer existences. This legislation would not help them. Which means that if the Bill were passed, we would only be at the start of our experiment with euthanasia. Lawsuit would follow campaign would follow Private Member’s Bill, until safeguard after safeguard was removed. Be careful what you wish for.”
Marie Meaney at Crisis Magazine: “There has been no coup, no abdication, no revolution. It is an event that has gone largely unnoticed. The media have hardly spoken about it. Yet it is a reality. The monarchy in Belgium is done with, over, kaput. The king of Belgium has turned himself out of his royal throne by signing a law on March 9 that permits child euthanasia.”
God & Politics in the UK: “Despite this bill having already been denounced as failing to pass the safety test by a group of Peers, the fight to bring about euthanasia in the form of assisted dying/suicide continues to batter its way forward bit by bit, refusing to let repeated rejections stand in its way. This is the fourth time in the last 10 years that such a bill has come before the House of Lords, but with each defeat the campaigners for death on demand regroup, look to sway public opinion further in their favour, and return stronger to mount another challenge.”
Telegraph: “The legislation of assisted suicide has moved a significant step closer after the Government made clear that it would not stand in the way of a change in the law.”
Wesley J. Smith at National Review: “The UK’s John Harris is a major voice in utilitarian bioethics discourse, who believes that killing so-called human non persons is A-OK. He has now written in favor of creating children using a process known as IVG–in vitro gametes–using stem cells to create eggs and sperm, and then fertilizing via IVF.”
Politico: “Hillary Clinton said Friday that it is a ‘bedrock truth’ that humanity cannot progress as a whole if women lack reproductive rights. The former secretary of state and likely 2016 Democratic presidential candidate delivered those remarks at the United Nations as her party continues to charge that Republicans are engaged in a ‘war on women.’”
Al Jazeera: “The nonprofit advocacy group Amnesty International launched a global campaign “My Body My Rights” on Thursday, in response to what it says is the growing number of laws around the world criminalizing people’s sex lives and restricting women’s control over their bodies.”
The Nordic Page: “New figures from the Medical Birth Registry (Medisinsk fødselsregister) show that 49 children were born with Downs in 2012. This is the lowest figure since the birth registration has started to be applied in 1999, writes Dagsavisen.”
LifeNews: “Nonetheless I was still jolted when I read today that the Belgian press was reporting that on Sunday King Filip-Philippe had signed the measure into law. I don’t anything about the political system, except that as a constitutional monarch, there was virtually no chance the King would not sign the proposal.”
NPR: “The Spanish government is on its way to creating one of the toughest abortion laws in Europe — a near-total ban, except in cases of rape or grave risk to the mother’s health. Serious birth defects will no longer be grounds for terminating a pregnancy.”
Times of Israel: “The billboard is an advertisement for Efrat, an anti-abortion outfit that dubs itself ‘The Committee to Rescue Israel’s Babies’ and offers financial support to pregnant women in an effort to persuade them not to terminate their pregnancies.”
CBC: “The Philippe Couillard-led Quebec Liberals have blocked the passage of Quebec’s end-of-life legislation, Bill 52, said parliamentary house leader Stéphane Bédard. . . . If the bill is not passed today, it could die on the order paper because of the 4 p.m. ET tabling of the budget.”
Mary Jo Anderson at Crisis Magazine: “Among few others, Flemish Christian Democratic senator, Els Van Hoof fought the bill. ‘They [children] can’t drink before they’re 16. They can’t smoke before they’re 16. They can’t vote before they’re 18. They can’t marry before they’re 18. They can’t be punished because they don’t have the competence. But when they talk about life and death, they can decide? It’s not coherent,’ the Senator said. Others insisted the measure is part of the development of Human Rights, and all should have self determination of their own death. How, precisely, this differs from suicide is never articulated.”
Meghan Daum at the LA Times: “Last week, the Belgian Parliament passed a law allowing terminally ill children to request aid in dying. . . . Despite the fact that it’s practically become a truism that Americans afford our pets more dignity in dying than we’re able to give our loved ones, we remain a culture whose denial of death can have a devastating effect on the quality of the end of our lives.”
LifeSiteNews: “Bishop Cristobal Bialasik of Oruro described the Bolivian Constitutional Court’s as a cause for ‘great joy.’ Teresa Lanza, director of the Bolivian affiliate of Catholics for Choice, on the other hand, said she ‘rejects the ruling,’ but acknowledged that with the new modifications to the abortion laws ‘the door is now open to access abortion on demand.’”
Margaret Somerville at Mercator: “Much ink has already been spilled on the pro– and anti-euthanasia arguments relevant to these initiatives, but there has been little discussion in the public square on the content of the ‘life concepts’ that are informing this debate.”
Tracey Rowland at Crisis Magazine: “What went wrong? How can a nation that is even nominally Catholic do this? . . . Some battles can’t be won politically, only spiritually, and sometimes the political victories follow decades and even centuries of spiritual preparation.”
Washington Times: “North Korea forces women to undergo abortions and young mothers to drown their newborn babies, and has starved and executed hundreds of thousands of detainees at secret prison camps — atrocities that the chairman of a U.N. panel that documented the abuses compares to those of Nazi Germany.”
CNA: “The Ministry of Health (MOH) is proposing that pre-abortion counselling be made mandatory for all women seeking a termination of pregnancy in Singapore.”
Associated Press: “Belgian lawmakers voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to extend the country’s euthanasia law to children under 18.”
TIME: “Spanish legislators held a secret ballot on Tuesday to push ahead with a controversial new law that would restrict access to abortion in the country.”
Telegraph: “Abortion clinics are to be issued with new guidance making it ‘abundantly clear that gender selection is illegal’ in the wake of a series of scandals. Lord Howe, health minister said the rules would be distributed to all providers, while the General Medical Council has been asked to publish guidance on the same matter for all doctors.”
The West Australian: “The balance-of-power MP told the ABC’s 7.30 program Victorian doctors who do not wish to perform abortions should not be required to refer patients to one who would.”
Associated Press: “Belgian lawmakers clashed sharply on Wednesday over whether to grant terminally ill children the right to ask to die, a legal option already possessed by the country’s adults.”
First Thoughts: “The truly demonic nature of this bill—as a theologian I do not use that adjective lightly—is to be found, however, not only in its sanctification of suicide. It can be seen also in its attempt to force public institutions and healthcare personnel to become complicit in both suicide and murder, through a mandated process of cooperation with ministerial directives and demands for referral.”
Associated Press: “Belgium, one of the very few countries where euthanasia is legal, is expected to take the unprecedented step this week of abolishing age restrictions on who can ask to be put to death – extending the right to children for the first time.”
C-FAM: “The UN’s educational and cultural agency says that the purpose of educating children is not only to foster their literacy and social advancement, but also to teach them where and how to have an abortion and to increase their tolerance for same-sex behavior.” | The report is here.
LifeSiteNews: “The claim that increasing contraception reduces abortion received a death blow this week from the UK’s biggest abortion provider. Figures from the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) reveal that a staggering two-thirds of women having an abortion were using a contraceptive at the time they conceived.”
LifeNews: “A local mayor has sparked a national debate in Norway over abortion by posting a picture on Facebook showing him holding a plastic doll that is a likeness of an unborn baby at 12 weeks of pregnancy to make a point about how abortion takes the life of a tiny baby.”
CBC: “A community is rallying to help a 32-year-old Victoria man facing an almost unimaginable set of circumstances as he awaits his first child’s entry into the world. Hundreds of people have contributed to a fund in support of Dylan Benson, whose pregnant wife Robyn suffered a medical emergency after Christmas and was declared brain dead.”
Daily Beast: “But recent revelations about the way euthanasia is practiced by one group in The Netherlands, especially for those suffering from psychiatric illnesses, is making even the Dutch feel uncomfortable. The new debate raises questions about the way appointed commissions judge these life-ending practices, and echoes the kinds of ‘slippery-slope’ criticisms often made by right-wing and religious parties in the United States.”
BBC: “A Department of Health official said draft abortion guidelines would need to be looked at again following heavy criticism in a public consultation, on 29 January 2014. In Northern Ireland it is illegal to perform a termination of pregnancy unless it is necessary to preserve the life of a pregnant woman, or there is a risk of real and serious adverse effect on her physical or mental health, which is either long term or permanent.”
LA Times: “The Philippines, no stranger to the culture wars over contraception and abortion, will soon learn whether a controversial new law that requires the government to subsidize birth control for the poor is constitutional.”
National Catholic Reporter: “Quebec’s euthanasia Bill 52 will come to a vote in February, and the province’s bishops say it ‘goes against the most basic human values and contradicts the very purpose of medicine.’”
STV News: “A total of 69% of those questioned said they wanted the Assisted Suicide (Scotland) Bill, being put forward by independent MSP Margo MacDonald to be passed by Holyrood.”
Russia Beyond the Headlines: “Although during the last five years, the number of abortions in the country has decreased, it has not yet made much impact on Russia’s population growth. To address the issue, the Health Ministry plans to focus on setting up crisis centers for pregnant women and providing them with psychological help.”
CBC: “Mifepristone, also known as RU-486, has been under consideration by Health Canada since December 2012. It usually takes about nine months for pharmaceuticals to work their way through the approvals process, making mifepristone overdue for a decision.”
Christian Concern: “During a recent debate at the plenary session of the European Parliament, the European Commission confirmed that the EU has no competence in the areas of abortion and sex education, and that it cannot interfere with the policies adopted by Member States on these issues.”
Digital Journal: “A Swedish midwife has reported her former employers for religious discrimination, after she would not assist with abortions at a hospital in southern Sweden. She claims they discriminated when they would not extend her contract.”
RFI: “Pope Francis is expected to raise planned changes to French law on abortion and euthanasia when President François Hollande meets him at the Vatican on Friday. An improvised bomb went off near a French church in Rome overnight.”
France24: “French lawmakers voted late on Tuesday to amend the country’s abortion law to make it easier for women to terminate a pregnancy if she chooses to, despite opposition from the country’s more conservative political parties.”
A communication from the Executive Director of Comunidad y Justicia in Chile: “After many months we were able to overturn a decision made by our Health Department regarding the distribution of the plan-B pill to minors under 14 years of age without any notification to parents.”
GMA News: “In a petition filed before the Pasay Regional Trial Court on Monday Jan. 20, Pro-Life Philippines pled for the court’s issuance of preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order (TRO) on the ongoing 7th Asia Pacific Conference on Reproductive Health and Sexual Rights (APCRSHR).”
Telegraph: “France’s parliament on Monday began debating a controversial new law on abortion which would end a requirement for women to prove they are in ‘distress’ to legally terminate a pregnancy.”
RFI: “A court in France ruled against the withdrawal of food and water from Vincent Lambert, a tetraplegic patient who has been in a state of minimal consciousness in hospital for five years, following a car accident.”
EuroNews: “Most of the European Parliament’s political groups are demanding the Spanish government abandon plans for more-restrictive abortion laws. However, Parliament’s centre-right European People’s Party says this should be a decision made by Spain’s national government.”
Deutsche Welle: “This week, a medical advisory board recommended that emergency contraception should be available without a prescription in Germany, as it is in other countries. But there are ethical concerns.”
Euro News: “A Judiciary Committee has rejected calls for extra hearings before sending Belgium’s Child Euthanasia Bill for a final parliamentary vote. The decision clears the way for it to be passed to the lower house for consideration and a vote sometime before May.”
The Independent: “The illegal abortion of female foetuses solely to ensure that families have sons is widely practised within some ethnic communities in Britain and has resulted in significant shortfalls in the proportion of girls, according to an investigation by The Independent.”