Rethinking support of UNICEF

BAY BULLS, Nfld – An outspoken Newfoundland priest urged Catholic parents to withhold support of UNICEF to protest against the United Nations organization’s alleged support of abortion and contraception in the Third World. Monsignor Dermott O’Keefe, pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul parish in Bay Bulls, attacked UNICEF in a recent parish newsletter. An official with UNICEF Canada rejected the priest’s accusations, saying the organization has the support of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. Criticism of UNICEF intensifies each fall with that organization’s Halloween fund-raising effort. Although UNICEF has no official policy favoring abortion and contraception, many suspect it promotes the practices in underdeveloped nations.

The monsignor’s action took place just days before the Vatican announced it was withdrawing its symbolic contribution to UNICEF due to the organization’s support of abortion and contraception.

Planned Parenthood not welcome

BARRIE, Ont. – Pro-life groups in Simcoe County will be monitoring a plan to establish a Planned Parenthood chapter in Barrie. The Barrie Examiner reported that the abortion favoring organization was scheduled to set up an office in this central Ontario city of 70,000 by mid-November. In addition to calling for wider access to abortion services, Planned Parenthood promotes greater public awareness of homosexuality, contraception, teenage sexuality and sexually transmitted diseases. To counter the Planned Parenthood move, a coalition of concerned citizens held an information night November 8 to discuss Planned Parenthood’s anti-family objectives. Pat Bainbridge of Life Decisions International was speaker for the event.

Surcharge would harm charities

TORONTO- The federal government is dealing a financial blow to charities by not exempting them from a surcharge on blank audio cassettes, said the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC). The government’s Bill C-32 proposes a surcharge per tape in order to compensate Canadian artists who suffer income loss due to the illegal taping of compact discs and cassettes. The amount being discussed is 37 to 40 cents per tape. While groups who help people with perceptual disabilities will be exempt from paying the surcharge under the Bill, other charities (including churches) will not be exempt. Bruce Cleminger, director of national affairs for the EFC, said charities use thousands of tapes each year for educational and religious purposes. He said the proposed surcharge would put an unwelcome burden on these kinds of organizations. Others suggest the surcharge would force churches and charities to subsidize recording artists, many of whom mock religious belief and traditional values through their music.

CHP dismisses referendum plan

WINIIPEG- The head of the Christian Heritage Party has called for a constitutional amendment protecting unborn children from the moment of conception. Speaking in Manitoba in November, CHP leader Ron Gray said protection of the unborn children should not depend on national referenda. His comments came in the wake of Reform party leader Preston Manning’s proposal for a referendum on constitutional amendments to protect preborn children. Reform party officials quickly distanced themselves from Manning’s comments. “The fact before us right now is that killing children before they’re born is wrong,” Gray said, “and no referendum will ever change that chilling reality.”

Saskatchewan pro-lifers meet

REGINA- The Voice for Humanity was the theme of the recent Saskatchewan Pro-Life conference, hosted by the Estevan and District Pro-Life society. More than 250 people attended the conference which featured an address on fetal research by Dr. Bill Deagle of Perkin, Illinois. Other highlights of the conference included a talk on palliative care by Bernard Ogrodnick of Prince Albert, and the presentation of the Dumbowski Award to the Kellen Mack family of Macoun, Saskatchewan. The conference also saw the election of Bob Waldegger as president of Saskatchewan Pro-Life. Waldegger, once branded a pro-life terrorist by the Canadian Abortion Rights Action League, also began a position as a program director for Regina Pro-Life.

New director for Alberta group

EDMONTON- Alberta Pro-Life (Edmonton) recently named Patty Nixon to the position of executive director. Nison, who established a record of achievement as head of Alberta’s Committee to End Tax-Funded Abortions (CETFA), becomes the first full-time salaried employee for the provincial pro-life organization, whish is officially known as the Alberta Pro-Life Alliance Association. Nixon hopes to build a stronger network among the association’s 35 community-based pro-life groups. Supporters anticipate that Nixon will bring the determined, proactive approach in evidence at CETFA to her new role.