Canada

The Catholic Organization for Life and Family has issued a letter urging Canadians to do whatever is possible to support Bill C-484, the Unborn Victims of Crime Act, which is currently awaiting justice and human rights committee hearings after passing Second Reading in early March. COLF says: “Bill C-484 is a welcome development, because it recognizes, at least in the case of violent assault against the mother, the human dignity of the unborn child and the value of human life. If the bill is adopted, the unborn child that is hurt or killed would also be considered a crime victim, together with its mother, who had chosen to carry the child until birth” … C-484 was unanimously opposed by the Assembly Nationale of Quebec … Ontario Education Minister Kathleen Wynne, an open lesbian, has appointed a “Safe Schools Action Team” to ensure that homosexual students are not subjected to “homophobia” from teachers, staff or fellow students … Promise Keepers Canada announces the launch of Seven magazine for Canadian Christian men, produced in partnership with the ChristianWeek newspaper… Trinity Western University launches theReligion in Canada Institute to serve as a nucleus for religious research and scholarly networking in Canada.

United States

In an interview with the Eugene Register-Guard, Senator Hillary Clinton (N.Y.), who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, praised the state’s law permitting doctor-assisted suicide. She said, “I believe it’s within the province of the states to make that decision,” and added: “I commend Oregon on this count, as well, because whether I agree with it or not or think it’s a good idea or not, the fact that Oregon is breaking new ground and providing valuable information as to what does and doesn’t work when it comes to end-of-life questions, I think, is very beneficial.” Asked whether she would have voted for an assisted-suicide law, Clinton said she did not know … In a debate on religious issues, Clinton attempted to reach a middle ground on abortion, saying: “I believe the potential for life begins at conception.” Her opponent, Illinois Senator Barack Obama, said, “Nobody is pro-abortion – abortions are never a good thing.” He has also said the first thing he would do if elected president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act, which would nullify state laws restricting abortion … Pro-abortion Democrats blocked a resolution welcoming Pope Benedict XVI to America, because it included pro-life language. The resolution, introduced by Republican Senator Sam Brownback (Kan.) and co-sponsored by Democratic SenatorBob Casey (Penn.), noted that the pontiff “has spoken out for the weak and vulnerable, witnessing to the value of each and every human life.” Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer(Calif.) demanded that “witnessing the value of each and every human life” be removed from the resolution. To get the resolution passed in time for Benedict’s first visit to the U.S. as pope, Brownback caved in to the pressure from pro-abortion colleagues. Language recognizing the role religion plays in public life was also watered down to gain unanimous approval from the Senate.

International

Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi was returned to power when his coalition, led by the People of Freedom Party, beat the socially liberal Democratic Party, led by Rome’s mayor, Walter Veltroni. In February, Berlusconi endorsed the idea of a UN moratorium on abortion as promoted by pro-life politician Giuliano Ferrara, telling Tempimagazine the international organization should recognize as a human right the right to life from “conception until natural death” … Eleven days before the general Italian election, Ferrara and other pro-life candidates in the Emilio-Romagna region were assaulted and insulted by Communist and Green party supporters. They were pelted by eggs and called “buffoons” and “fascists” … According to Provida, the Mexican National Pro-Life Committee, in the first year of legal abortion in the Federal District, more than 6,400 abortions were committed. Also, 22 women were injured and eight women were killed while procuring abortions. Provida president Jorge Serrano Limon said, “We have the information, dates and hospitals where they died.”. Provida says it has saved 3,100 preborns from abortion … A poll published in the Folha de Sao Paulo has found that 68 per cent of Brazilians think abortion should remain a crime, up from a similar 2006 poll that found 63 per cent thought abortion should be illegal … The German Bundestag voted 346-228 to remove restrictions on the use of human embryos in stem cell research. Currently, German scientists can only use embryonic stem cells derived from sources harvested before January 2002, but the new law moves the cut-off date for permissible stem cell sources to May 2007. Last July, the German National Ethics Council approved the change in a 14-10 vote. Germany has been under heavy pressure from the European Union to abolish the 2002 cut-off date. A January poll found that 61 per cent of Germans favour using somatic (adult) stem cells over human embryonic stem cells and that 65 per cent supported the existing restrictions.