Canada

Premier of Ontario Kathleen Wynne has called end-of-life decisions, including euthanasia, “the great health care issue of our time” in an interview with the Toronto Sun. The baby boomer generation is nearing retirement and will require more health resources as they age. By 2036, approximately one out of four Ontarians will be aged 65 or older. “I don’t think it’s something we’re going to be able to choose to talk about or not.” said Wynne. “It’s something that every person in this country is going to have to confront and discuss ” … Wynne, who is openly lesbian, was scheduled on June 30 to become the first premier of Ontario to march in the Pride Parade in Toronto. Former premier Dalton McGuinty attended the parade, but never marched in it. She said she is marching “because homophobia is alive and well, not just here in some places in Ontario, but in many parts of the world where you can still be imprisoned or beaten for being gay, lesbian or trans.” She said gays and lesbians “have an obligation to be out” to “show them that they too will be able to find their way in the world” … Former Ontario NDP premier Bob Rae, who has served as a Liberal MP since 2008 and interim leader of the party from May 2011 until April, resigned from elected politics. In 1994, the NDP government imposed the “temporary” injunction creating a bubble zone prohibiting pro-life freedom of speech and assembly near Ontario abortion facilities … LifeSiteNews.com reports that an assistant in the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association sent an email during the week of June 21 that encouraged teachers to support “safe” abortion. The message from Canada Without Poverty was forwarded on June 17th by Cindy Robidoux on behalf of Jeremy Cox, a councillor on OECTA’s provincial executive. Robidoux is executive assistant to general secretary Marshall Jarvis. OECTA claims to uphold the pro-life position, even donating $1,000 to this year’s National March for Life. However, the union has consistently backed pro-abortion Liberal politicians, hosted pro-abortion speakers at conferences, and intervened on the side of gay rights on a number of homosexual issues.

United States

The House of Representatives passed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would restrict abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, 228-196. The bill, introduced by Republican Trent Franks (Arizona), sought to end abortion at the point when scientists agree unborn children can feel pain. The vote was mostly along party lines with just six Democrats supporting it and six Republicans opposing it. Franks said it was the first time either chamber of Congress “that affirmative protection has been extended to unborn children.” However, political observers say it is unlikely to come for a vote in the Senate and, even if it passed that chamber, President Barack Obama vowed to veto it. Still, Cheryl Sullenger, policy adviser for Operation Rescue, said “getting this far was a big deal.” If the bill becomes law abortionists who carried out late-term abortions would face fines and up to five years in prison. The Guttmacher Institute reports that 300 abortionists do late-term abortions in America. Some pro-life groups such as Georgia Right to Life withdrew their support of the bill after House Majority Leader Eric Cantor added a rape and incest exception to the bill that already included health-of-the-mother exceptions. GRTL president Dan Becker said the Republican leadership “hijacked” the bill … Seattle city councillor Judy Nicastro has written a column in the New York Times that she is “grateful” for an abortion obtained at 23 weeks that allowed her twin son to die “in a warm and loving place, inside me.” At 20 weeks, MRIs revealed the child’s organs were not developing properly. Nicastro and her Catholic husband therefore agreed to have a needle inserted “through my belly into his tiny heart.” Since the abortion put the couple’s daughter at risk, she had hoped to postpone the procedure even more, but abortion is illegal past 24 weeks in Washington state. The couple’s daughter was born healthy. “I share my story in the hope that our leaders will be more responsible and compassionate when they weigh what it means to truly value the lives of women and children,” Nicastro said.

International

Members of the Belgian federal Parliament have reportedly come to a consensus that children should have the option of being euthanized in certain severe cases. A bill introduced last year by the Socialist Party allows doctors to decide on a case-by-case basis whether children’s maturity and grave health could allow them the option to end their own lives. Similarly, the Royal Dutch Medical Association has released a new policy explaining why child euthanasia is necessary. The group believes that 650 of the 175,000 babies born in the Netherlands every year could be candidates for euthanasia. Dr. Eduard Verhagen, co-author of the 2004 Groningen Protocol which expanded euthanasia to children in The Netherlands, told the Dutch newspaper Volkskrant euthanasia is a solution to parents seeing the “abomination” of a distressed child’s death. “It is part of good palliative care.”