Canada

The BBC World News reported that, “Canada has become a hot destination for parents-to-be looking for ‘altruistic surrogates’ – women who give birth to babies they are not genetically related to.” Canadian legislation makes it easy for “intended” parents to obtain legal parenthood of a surrogate baby. Canadian fertility consulting agencies match up couples (usually infertile couples, same-sex male couples and singles) wanting a child, with a woman who will carry a fertilized egg (not her own) to delivery. To be accepted as a surrogate in Canada, of which there are currently about 900, the woman must have already given birth to at least one child of her own and she must agree to physical and psychological testing. Legally, only incidental costs related to the pregnancy can be billed by the surrogate (e.g. maternity clothes, vitamins, lost wages if time must be taken off work for medical reasons) but agencies, doctors, lawyers, and fertility clinics get paid handsome fees. The UK, Ireland, Denmark, and Belgium have laws similar to Canada’s; France, Germany, Italy, and Spain prohibit surrogacy; and Georgia, Russia, Ukraine, and some American states have commercial surrogacy where the surrogate is well paid for her nine months of pregnancy. The current Canadian law has been in place since 2004. In October, the Liberal government announced it would liberalize the law. Health Minsiter Ginette Petitpas Taylor said the government will set out new rules spelling out payment for surrogacy services and, the government claims, protections for mothers and children. It will also “offer couples dealing with infertility,” notably “single people, same-sex couples and other members of the LGBTQ2 community, flexibility in building their families.” Liberal MP Anthony Housefather said the proposals do not go far enough and has introduced a private member’s bill decriminalizing payments for surrogate mothers. He notes that 40 U.S. states have already legalized commercial surrogacy. One reason that surrogates give for doing this work is often just a desire to see infertile couples grow a family. How will the surrogated child feel? We should know within a few years.

The Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA), at its “Fempower” women’s leadership conference in November (no men allowed), invited a former NDP MPP as part of a panel. United Church pastor Cheri DiNovo, who used to represent Trinity-Spadina at Queen’s Park, appeared, as she often does, in a black clerical suit with a Roman collar. How her credentials could pass muster as an “honoured” guest of OECTA which sells itself as “promoting the principles of Catholic education” is anyone’s guess. A bi-sexual who identifies as “queer,” DiNovo’s c.v.reads like a who’s who of gender ideology: as a parliamentarian, she was the architect of some of the most pro-LGBT legislation in Canadian history, including the Trans Day of Remembrance Act; as a pastor, she officiated at the first legalized same-sex “marriage” in Canada; and, as a writer, she authored the book “Que(e)ring Evangelism,” among other ‘accomplishments.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has indicated he has $600 million of our taxpayer dollars ready to hand out to media over a five-year period. What is he paying for and which media will take the handout? There is the U.N. Migration Compact, described below, where countries are expected to get the media on board to only report positively about the controversial program by providing official sensitivity training for journalists who cover migration issues. And then there is the upcoming 2019 federal election. As retired journalist and current Conservative MP Peter Kent (Thornhill) has stated: “When media organizations … or individual journalists’ jobs are dependent on government subsidies that is the antithesis of a free and independent press.” The announcement of funding for struggling media outlets in Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s fall fiscal statement in the year running up to the Oct. 19 federal election looks like a buyoff.

The Ford government eliminated funding for the College of Midwives in Ontario, part of their war on government waste. The province will no longer provide $800,000 in operational grants. The College, which regulates the midwife profession, has received provincial funding for 25 years. The cuts will not affect services. The College had been lobbying the previous Wynne government to allow midwives to do abortions, presumably dispensing the abortion drug. There is no indication that the College was defunded because of its anti-life activism – it also testified in favour of creating anti-free speech bubble zones around abortion facilities during hearings in October 2017 – but we see no need for the province to fund a self-regulating body that lobbies the government on public policy.

United States

There is a debate going on in the United States over states being forced to use tax dollars to fund abortions. In Kansas and Louisiana, the lower courts refused to allow the states to defund Planned Parenthood (PP). Both states, and several others, had moved to revoke taxpayer funding of PP after videos exposed the abortion giant allegedly selling the body parts of aborted babies. The states’ case was subsequently raised up to the Supreme Court where it was rejected by a vote of 6-3, with justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch voting to accept the case. Four justices are needed to accept a case. Thomas complained that the Court was not carrying out its judicial duty because the issue was “important and recurring”; the issue is broader than abortion and involves whether Medicaid recipients have a right to redirect their taxpayer funds away from Medicaid, a government program that “props up” abortionists like PP. Americans United for Life agreed with Thomas, with AUL president Catherine Glenn Foster saying in a statement: “AUL is disappointed that the Court declined to hear argument in these cases, and we join the dissent in calling on the Court to ‘do its duty.’ But the good news is that there are other similar cases pending in lower courts, which may give the Supreme Court another opportunity to decide this important issue. “ Meanwhile pro-lifers were disappointed that newly appointed Justice Brett Kavanaugh sided with the majority in rejecting the case.

The organizers of the Women’s March are taking heat for tweeting that white women need “accountability and an honest reckoning” after a majority of white women voted for Republican candidates in the November mid-term elections. Conservatives and pro-life women took offense at the organization’s condescending tone and attempt to “shame” them. Pro-life actress Patrician Heaton, who played Raymond’s wife in Everybody loves Raymond,rebuffed them with the following tweet: “I know this is hard for you to grasp, but women of all kinds who are pro-science and anti-violence don’t believe that ending the life of your developing son or daughter in your womb is liberating or progressive. It’s tyrannical and barbaric.” And Uju Ekeocha, the founder of Culture of Life Africa, who was profiled in The Interimin 2017 tweeted: “They (pro-aborts) shame white women for their politics and dare to tell them how to vote. Women’s March is a rabidly racist and oppressive organization. I thought those were abolished by the end of segregation. I guess I was wrong.”

International

Spain’s Angela Ponce made history last month by taking part in the Miss Universe contest in Bangkok, becoming the first self-identifying transgender individual to compete for the prize. Fawning coverage of the trans breakthrough appeared everywhere from the CBC to ABC to Yahoo! News. Ponce said on her Instagram page, “Today I am here, proudly representing my nation, all women, and human rights.” Quite the claim for prancing around in evening gowns and bathing suits while answering banal questions about world peace. But is it really possible that despite the make-believe world of transgenderism and cosmetic (and perhaps other) surgery, Ponce can represent “all women.” The problem, as National Review’s Alexandra Desanctis wrote, is that it is one thing for Ponce to deny the truth her chromosomes tell, but “can Ponce live as a transgender woman without forcing us to go along for the ride?” It is one thing for an individual to suffer from the delusion that their gender and biology are distinct – a condition that until recently was recognized as a mental illness fit for treatment – but quite another to demand that others participate in the fantasy, as well.

If gender can be self-selected why not age? In the Netherlands, 69-year-old Emile Ratelband’s request to have his age lowered by 20 years was rejected by a Dutch court. Ratelband, a motivational speaker by trade, could not motivate the judge to shave two decades off his age simply because he felt young and healthy and suffered discrimination from being a senior. It is unclear whether he was joking when Ratelband complained that being nearly 70 harmed his ability to find dates on the sex-hookup app Tinder. Ratelband was definitely not joking when he pointed out that the request to change his age was consistent with other forms of socially accepted transformation. The ruling stated, “Mr. Ratelband is at liberty to feel 20 years younger than his real age and to act accordingly, but amending his date of birth would cause 20 years of records to vanish from the register of births, deaths, marriages, and registered partnerships,” and thus “would have a variety of undesirable legal and societal implications,” by making age requirements like mandatory schooling or pension eligibility meaningless.

The United Nations Global Migration Compact, which has aroused conflict and confusion worldwide, was signed in Marrakesh, Morocco in mid-December. A number of countries either didn’t sign on or pulled out, including the U.S., Israel, Hungary, Austria, Poland, Czech Republic, Croatia, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Slovakia, Australia, Dominican Republic, Latvia, and Lithuania. Italy has referred the matter to a vote in the Italian assembly. The Compact refers to migrants who wish to move from one country to another with ease. Typically, the move will be from the Southern Hemisphere to the Northern Hemisphere. The Compact replaces or overwrites existing immigration policies: “all migrants will benefit from the same civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights to the same extent as its own citizens do.” This means that migrants landing in a country will immediately be granted all the benefits that the citizens of that country have – medical, employment insurance, housing, etc. A host country will not be able to decide who can come in; all are welcome. The media are required to promote positive aspects of migration and dissent will not be tolerated among the host population. Censorship will be in and freedom of speech out. Under the Compact, the line will be blurred between legal and illegal immigration, borders will be moving towards international control and migrants will be able to move to their desired location. As the world moves ever more swiftly toward global control, national sovereignty will recede. A Gatestone article maintains that the document enhances the clout of the U.N.’s largest power bloc, the Arab and Muslim states that promote the idea of infiltrating western countries with no difficulty. There is concern among Christians, generally, that migrants must be given access to contraceptives and abortion. The WHO Framework to Promote the Health of Refugees and Migrants which is cited in the Compact includes the following: “providing essential health services such as: a minimum initial service package of reproductive health, sexual and reproductive health information and services.” These are code words for contraception and abortion-on-demand. Both the United Nations and WHO documents can be googled online. A number of videos are available on YouTube of which several Canadian videos critical of the document are worth viewing. These include one by Salim Mansur, a University of Western Ontario professor, and Stefan Molineux, a Canadian journalist and commentator. It is interesting to note that Canada took part in drafting the document and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his immigration minister have taken a leading role in promoting the Compact. During his time in office, Trudeau has consistently welcomed “all” to our country (“Diversity is our strength”), claiming that Canada is the first “post-national state” and has “no core identity.” Pro-lifers who have been leading critics of the goal of one-world government should beware globalist treaties such as the Migration Compact.