Manual Instructs Pro-Abortion Activists in Africa_July 2011

Pro-Abortion Actions

Equality Now Releases How-to Manual in Africa that Priorities Access
to Abortion; Vice-President of Kenyan Constitutional Commission Leads
Launch in Kenya

Equality Now has released an instructional manual for activists on how
to use the treaty of the African Union, the Protocol to the African
Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa,
commonly known as the Maputo Protocol, to advance abortion among its
activism goals. Equality Now’s press release focuses on the abortion
provision of the treaty stating: “For the first time in international
law, it explicitly sets forth the reproductive right of women to
medical abortion when pregnancy results from rape or incest or when
the continuation of pregnancy endangers the health or life of the

It is stated that the manual, A Guide to Using the Protocol on the
Rights of Women in Africa for Legal Action, “provides step-by-step
guidance for using the Protocol at local, national, and regional
levels. It explains how to bring women’s rights abuses that violate
the Protocol before domestic courts and regional justice mechanisms
like the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights and analyzes key
cases related to women’s rights decided by the African Commission.”
The how-to guide seeks to charge States that ratify the treaty but
have strong pro-life laws with a violation of the treaty if the states
do not allow abortion as permitted, but not defined, by the protocol.
Pro-life advocates know that “physical health of the mother” can be
defined so broadly that it results in abortion on demand.

Equality Now boasts of its role in helping to write the treaty and
working with governments to advance the radical language that promotes
abortion as an international right. The NGO has established a network
of African organizations called Solidarity for African Women’s Rights
(SOAWR) that is focused on the ratification and implementation of the
pro-abortion treaty across Africa. The launch of the how-to guide in
Kenya was headed by Elizabeth Muli, Vice-Chairperson of the Commission
on the Implementation of the Constitution. Following the adoption of a
new constitution in Kenya last year a commission was established to
oversee legislative and administrative procedures to implement the
provisions of the new constitution, including a provision extending
abortion beyond a life of the mother only exception. The Constitution
broadened grounds for abortion to circumstances when “in the opinion
of a trained health professional, there is need for emergency
treatment, or the life or health of the mother is in danger, or if
permitted by any other written law”.

The potential impact of the Maputo Protocol on abortion laws in Kenya
was a main focus of the launch of the manual according to press
reports: “Kenya: Law widens scope where abortion is allowed”. Muli
pointed out that the Kenyan Constitution states: “Any treaty or
convention ratified by Kenya shall form part of the law of Kenya under
this Constitution” and implied that Maputo’s provisions need to be
established in Kenyan law, including abortion. However, Kenya while
ratifying the Maputo Protocol on October 13, 2010, issued an all
important reservation objecting to the pro-abortion provisions in
Article 14, according to SOAWR. That crucial reservation will help
pro-life advocates in Kenya who have been working for a strict
interpretation of the abortion language in the Constitution. It also
serves as warning to other African nations that their laws protecting
unborn children and their mothers from the violence of abortion are
the targets of a new campaign to overturn pro-life laws. To date 31
countries have ratified the Maputo Protocol while Equality Now and
Solidarity for African Women’s Rights (SOAWR) actively oppose the
issuing of reservations by governments to any provision of the treaty,
especially Article 14 on abortion.

OAS Official Uses Position to Promote Abortion as a “Right”

The radical activism by some officials of the Organization of American
States (OAS) was evident in Argentina as theRapporteur on the Rights
of Women for the Inter American Commission of Human Rights, Luz
Patricia Mejía (a former president of the Commission) spoke at a
hearing before the Argentine National Congress on legislation to
decriminalize abortion.

Mejía presented abortion as inclusive in women’s health and as
essential to a right to physical integrity, two consistent themes used
to advance abortion by OAS entities and by pro-abortion organizations.

For example, during the June OAS General Assembly meeting in El
Salvador, the Inter American Commission of Human Rights (IACHR)
presented its 2010 yearly report which included an accompanying Annex
with a section entitled: Situation of the Rights of Women. Included is
the following statement, with no basis in international law, yet
presented as fact:

“The IACHR also reminds the States that therapeutic abortion is
recognized internationally as a specialized, necessary health services
for women intended to save the mother’s life when it is at risk due to
pregnancy, and that denying this service constitutes an attack on the
life and physical and psychological integrity of women.”

The distortion of foundational treaties and conventions of the
Organization of American States by Mejía and others is a tactic to
advance abortion despite the Inter American Convention on Human
Rights-the strongest international treaty that recognizes a right to
life from conception. It states in Article 4, Right to Life : “This
right shall be protected by law and, in general, from the moment of
conception. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life.” In like
manner, the same article protects the lives of unborn children whose
mothers are guilty of a death penalty crime: “Capital punishment shall
not… be applied to pregnant women.”

The Buenos Aires based Center for Bioethics, the Person, and the
Family responded to Mejía’s claims stating, “Argentina is a sovereign
nation that has consistently recognized the right to life of the
unborn child.  No treaty that Argentina has ratified awards a ‘right’
to abortion.”

Pro-Life News

US House Committee Votes to Reinstate Pro-life Protections on Foreign Aid

The U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee has approved legislation to
restore the Mexico City policy, prohibiting the funding of
international organizations that promote or perform abortions
overseas. Representative Chris Smith added language to H.R. 2583, the
Foreign Relations Authorization Act, to reinstate the pro-life
provision that President Obama reversed when he first took office. The
policy has been effective in keeping American tax dollars out of the
hands of international pro-abortion groups such as International
Planned Parenthood Federation and Marie Stopes International, both
which refused to performing and promoting abortion to qualify for
funding during the Bush Administration. H.R. 2583 is expected to pass
the House but fail in the Senate, and would face a presidential veto
if it did pass the Senate.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has stated her opposition to H.R.
2583, in part due to the reinstatement of the pro-life policy, and a
counter measure has been introduced by Rep. Nita Lowey in the House of
Representatives. The Global Democracy Promotion Act, which is strongly
supported by the Center for Reproductive Rights, would prohibit the
denial of funding for organizations based on the type of medical or
health services they provide, especially those that provide “abortion

Over 10 Percent of Colombian Population Sign Petition to Protect Life
from Fertilization

Pro-life advocates in Colombia have gathered five million signatures
calling for a constitutional amendment to prohibit abortion. The
amendment states “Life in Colombia is inviolable, and will have the
same protection from fertilization until natural death.” The amendment
will remove the exceptions to the abortion law imposed by the 2006
Supreme Court decision, the first pro-abortion advance in Latin
America followed by legalization in Mexico City. The petition drive,
led by the country’s Conservative Party, enjoys broad support from
political parties and religious groups. “These signatures clearly say
that the population is against abortion,” stated Conservative Party
leader José Darío Salazar who will introduce the pro-life amendment in
the Senate. (It should be noted that the Center for Reproductive
Rights recently established an office in Bogota to advance its radical
agenda in the region, especially in Colombia.)

Legislative News

Mexico: Lawmakers Push for Commercialization of Embryos

A coalition of Mexican political parties has proposed legislation to
redefine the embryo in order to permit the mass production and
destruction of human embryos for purposes of experimentation. The
coalition seeks to remove the inherent right to life from
fertilization and redefine the embryo in the initial stages of life as
a “fertilized ovum”, designating the embryo as a “cell”. The effort
has the support of the parties that together hold the majority of
seats in Congress- the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), the
socialist Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) and the Ecologist
Green Party of Mexico (PVEM). The measure is opposed by the National
Action Party (PAN).

Bulgaria: Committee Opposes Measure to Legalize Euthanasia

The Parliament Health Committee in Bulgaria has rejected a bill to
legalize euthanasia. With 12 members voting against and 1 abstention,
the vote was nearly unanimous. Rival members united to oppose the
measure, arguing that euthanasia is a violation of the principles of
beneficence -to do good and avoid evil- in medicine.

Italy: Chamber of Deputies Votes to Bar Euthanasia by Dehydration

The Italian Chamber of Deputies has passed a bill to prohibit
euthanasia through starvation and dehydration. The legislation, known
as “Dichiarazione anticipata di trattamento” (Dat), or Anticipated
Declarations of Treatment, closes a loophole in current law. In 2008,
Italy’s high court interpreted the existing law to permit the
dehydration death of a young brain damaged woman following her
father’s fight to euthanize her. This new legislation will ensure that
artificial provision of food and hydration are not defined as “medical
treatment” that can be withdrawn but “recognizes and protects human
life as inviolable” and guarantees the right to life “in the terminal
phase of life”. The only exception would be patients in the extreme
final stage of terminal illness who are no longer capable of
assimilating food or water. The Senate is expected to consider the
measure this fall.

Russia: New Law Puts Health Warnings on Abortion Ads

Russia has enacted a new law that requires abortion advertisements
include warnings about the possible health effects of abortion for
women, including infertility. Legislators approved the legislation,
citing its need to correct the current mistaken impression of abortion
as a simple risk-free surgery. Under the new law, which was signed
into law by Dmitry Medvedev, at least 10 percent of an abortion
advertisement must be dedicated to the health warnings. The new law is
an attempt to lower the country’s high abortion rate- over 1 million
each year- as it simultaneously struggles with a declining population
and looming demographic crisis.

USA: House Committee Declares Sex-Selection Abortion a Human Rights Violation

The House Foreign Affairs Committee approved an amendment by
Representative Jeff Fortenberry to the Foreign Relations Authorization
Act condemning sex selective abortion. The amendment states that it
“shall be the policy of the United States to declare sex-selection
abortion a human rights violation,” and requires an assessment of the
status of sex selection abortion be included in countries’ annual
human rights reports.

 Judicial News

New Zealand: Down Syndrome Advocates Accuse Government of Eugenics

Down syndrome advocates in New Zealand have lodged a complaint with
the International Criminal Court in The Hague claiming the country’s
prenatal screening program targets disabled children for abortion.
Right to Life New Zealand (RTLNZ) is among the signatories of the
complaint, which accuses the Minister of Health of violating Article 6
and 7 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court through
the persecution of an identifiable group of the population, namely,
denying the right to life to persons with Down syndrome.

New Zealand’s neonatal screening program, authorized in February 2010,
requires all pregnant women be screened for Down syndrome, and if
tested positive, offered the option of terminating the pregnancy. This
practice takes place in other countries, where RTLNZ notes there is
anecdotal evidence of women feeling social pressure to abort disabled
babies. “This is government funded social engineering and is also
eugenics where only the perfect may be born,” stated RTLNZ. “The
screening programme is not to promote the health and wellbeing of the
baby with Down syndrome but its destruction.”


Sex Selective Abortion

New Campaign Seeks to Curb the Declining Sex Ratio

In response to the growing disproportionate sex ratio, India is
seeking to curb the rampant practice of sex selection. With over 160
million girls “missing” in India and China, the Indian state
government has launched a “Save Girl Child Campaign” to enforce the
country’s Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques
(Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act. Sting operations have already
seized ultra sound machines after doctors were caught on camera
revealing the gender of the unborn baby. State health minister Suresh
Shetty said ultrasounds will now only be permitted in facilities with
a permanent radiologist. The government is deeply concerned with the
declining sex ration and intends to focus its efforts on a
three-pronged approach- bolstering education and awareness, strict
enforcement and penalties for violators, and celebration of the girl
child. A new website will be available August 1- where complaints and violations can be reported

Sanitation and Water

Sanitation Innovation Can Improve Daily Life for Billions, Prevent Disease

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is targeting sanitation and
water in a new initiative to save lives and improve the health of the
2.6 billion people living without access to basic sanitation. Diseases
related to a lack of sanitation account for half of all illnesses in
developing countries and contribute to the deaths of 1.5 million
annually from diarrheal disease. No invention in the past 200 years
has done more to save lives and prevent disease that the toilet and
related improvements in sanitation. The Gates Foundation seeks to
“reinvent the toilet”. Research includes innovative waterless toilets
that do not require sewer connections or outside electricity and cost
less than five cents a day as well as sanitation advances to capture,
treat, and recycle human waste. PNCI notes that if successful, this
groundbreaking project of the Gates Foundation will result in
healthier and happier lives and will contribute to greater security,
privacy and dignity in their daily lives of billions of women and
girls struggling to survive without adequate sanitation and water.

Volume 5, No 7

July 2011

Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues
Advancing global respect and dignity for life through law and policy.

PNCI is a global outreach of Gospel of Life Ministries

Guatemalan Presidential Candidates United in Pro-Life

A recent forum featuring the Guatemalan presidential candidates
revealed nine out of the eleven candidates oppose abortion. During the
forum, hosted by the nation’s Catholic bops, candidates gave their
position on numerous topics related to Church teachings. Responses
were varied on many topics, but the candidates- representing many
shades of the political spectrum- were united in their commitment to
protecting life and opposing abortion.
Visit us on the web!
has been updated with expanded information on Human Dignity and
critical issues including: abortion, bioethics, child mortality, end
of life issues, infanticide, maternal mortality and sex-selective

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