Columbia court “de-penalizes” abortion
BOGOTA – The Columbian Constitutional Court has “de-penalized” abortions, which has made way for “authorized” abortions to take place. “De-penalization” means that no criminal charges can be laid for abortion, even though it is not actually “legal.” Dan Zeidler, the U.S. representative of the Latin American Alliance for the Family, believes that such action is only making way for further pro-abortion legislation. “There is reason to believe their intent is to ‘legalize’ abortion or even recognize it as a ‘right,’” Zeider says. “Also, the lack of preciseness in terminology in words such as ‘health’ may leave the door open for wide-open abortion.”

Court considers abortion in Argentina rape case
BUENOS AIRES – A decision was expected within a few days as to whether or not a 19 year old rape victim in Argentina would be allowed to abort her four-month pregnancy. The case was before a top provincial court after two lower tribunals denied the request. The governor of Buenos Aires, Felipe Sola, supported the family’s request, stating, “We are not a theocracy. It is within this disabled rape victim’s rights to abort.” The two lower courts argued the constitutional mandate to protect children’s rights trumps criminal law.

Dominican Republic refuses to legalize abortion for rape victims
SANTO DOMINGO – On July 27, the Dominican Republic’s lawmakers voted down a proposal to allow abortion for rape victims. Originally, it appeared that the motion might pass, but a concerted effort by pro-life lobbyists persuaded House members to reject the changes to the penal code. Bishop Ramon Benito, the secretary-general of the Dominican Republic’s Catholic Bishops’ Conference, said that a child conceived by rape is no more deserving of abortion than other children. “Just as there are centres of care for children, society must seek out solutions in favour of life for children who are conceived through rape, as well as quality care for mothers. Abortion is not a religious issue, it’s a human rights issue. Those in favour of abortion paint the discussion as if it were a question of imposing religion.”

Another Indian state drops two-child policy
CHANDIGARH – On July 28, a northern Indian state reversed a child restriction law that prevented parents of more than two children from running for political office. Harana state authorities admitted that the limit of two children had “disastrous” social consequences, including the abortion of third pregnancies, couples giving up children for adoption or just simply not registering births. An effort to overturn the ban in 2004 failed when the Supreme Court ruled that it was “in the national interest” to limit population growth. Two other states, Chattisgarth and Madhya Pradesh, have already dropped the policy, after criticism from federal government leaders for the use of coercion or quotas to slow population growth.

Poland bans embryonic stem cell research
WARSAW – Sejm, the lower chamber of the Polish parliament, issued a resolution that passed 341-47 to ban embryonic stem cell research. This came shortly after the European Union’s vote to provide funding for embryonic stem cell research. Despite Poland being a strong Catholic nation protecting human life from the time of conception, the country still needs more effective pro-life education, Polish pro-life advocate Bogna Bialecka told “Most of the liberal media information focuses on the potential remedy outcomes of the research. Few people realize that the research is possible only as a destruction of human life. One of the commentaries was, ‘What’s the fuss about some stupid tissue?’ The average citizen is really confused and misinformed about the issues, such as embryonic stem cell research, gay rights, etc.”
Russia’s first pro-life maternity ward a giant success
BALASHIKHA – Russia’s first pro-life maternity hospital may hold the answer to saving Russia’s dying population. Russia’s population decreases by about 700,000 per year and has an abortion to live birth ratio of 2-1. Tom Murray, who has worked in Russia for 20 years, approached the government and asked for the possibility of an American collaboration in encouraging an increase in the birthrate. The health minister, Dr. Yuri Chevchenko, and President Vladimir Putin were both supportive of Murray’s plans. An old Soviet-era maternity hospital was donated, renovated and fit with state-of-the-art equipment, as well as equipped with 300 trained staff. The birthrate in the area has now tripled and the plan will be implemented in three other district hospitals.

Human eggs used as currency in UK
LONDON – The U.K.’s fertility authority has allowed a fertility clinic to start accepting any excess eggs as payment for in-vitro fertilization treatment. These eggs would be fertilized and the resulting embryos mined for research. Women always had the option of donating “spare” eggs after IVF treatments; this would be the first time that they would be paid for it. Paul Tully, the general secretary of the U.K.’s Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, expressed his concerns, stating that “Women will be under enormous pressure to engage in these practices. There is a huge potential for exploitation.” Josephine Quintavvalle, co-founder of Hands Off Our Ovaries, denounced the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority’s actions as “arrogant,” adding that it is “coercion under another name.”

Women regret their abortions
LONDON – Nine women who had abortions described their experiences in the Daily Mail. Most said they felt regretful and guilty following the procedure. Elaine Jowsey had an abortion when she was 17, after her boyfriend refused to support her and the child. She said, “My decision to deny a child a future has in many ways been a personal life sentence to me … I’m still not over my abortion.” Meanwhile, Tina Mills-Baldock decided on an abortion after she found out her child may have heart and kidney defects. She now says, “There are no words to describe the mental anguish and terrible emptiness that swallows you in the days after an abortion … I don’t think you ever get over an abortion completely.”

U.K. high court refuses to recognize lesbians’ Canadian ‘marriage’
LONDON – The United Kingdom’s High Court has refused to overturn the traditional definition of marriage for two British lesbians who demanded legal recognition for their Canadian same-sex “marriage.” Sue Wilkinson and Celia Kitzinger came to Canada in 2003 to get “married” and found out that their relationship would only be considered a civil union in the U.K. They are now planning to appeal the U.K. Court’s decision to the European Court of Human Rights. This is a perfect example of how the Canadian same-sex “marriage” law is assaulting the marriage laws of other nations, as Canada does not require foreign nationals to become citizens to get married. Richard Hogwood, a British family lawyer at Speechly Bircham, said, “Had Ms Kitzinger and Ms Wilkinson, who eschew the notion of civil partnership, been successful in their claim, the argument for same-sex marriage in the U.K. would have been invested with a great deal more force and threatened to make civil partnerships redundant.”

Pro-homosexual education forced on U.K. pre-schoolers
LONDON – The U.K.’s largest teacher’s union, the National Union of Teachers (NUT), has demanded that the acceptance of homosexual relationships be included in the curriculum from as early as pre-school. The NUT is determined to “challenge gender stereotypes and … challenge language that is negative or prejudiced.” The NUT also wants to suppress religion in British schools and is currently lobbying to overturn the legal right of religious schools in Britain to not hire someone on the basis of sexual orientation.

Eight Kenyan women arrested for having abortions
NAIROBI – Kenyan police arrested eight women and a staff member at a Nairobi site on July 23 after there were suspicions that the women were there to obtain abortions. In Kenya, it is illegal to have an abortion unless the mother’s life is at risk. A woman found guilty of having an abortion can be sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment and anyone caught performing or assisting an abortion can be sentenced to 14 years. The site was reported by local residents, who witnessed several women enter the estate and “lose” their pregnancies after being there for some days. Although many abortion and feminist activist groups (including Planned Parenthood) are pushing for legal abortion in  Kenya, a powerful lobby led by the country’s Catholic and Muslim communities has upheld the current law.

Jerusalem ‘pride’ parade cancelled
JERUSALEM – Gay activists were not permitted to march through Jerusalem this year. The Israeli-Lebanese situation was officially cited as the reason for the event’s cancellation, although officials admitted it gave them an excuse to ban the parade. Smaller indoor events, however, went on as planned on the week of August 6-12. According to Rabbi Yehuda Levin of the Orthodox Rabbinical Alliance of America and the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the U.S. and Canada, “This is not a significant moral victory for those who want Jerusalem to be a moral haven and to have one week of militant homosexual activities in this city is not acceptable.” Jewish, Muslim and Christian leaders around the world condemned the event as a deliberate offence toward the millions of faithful worldwide that regard Jerusalem as a holy city. Jerusalem was targeted for the event after the world pride parade was held in Rome in 2000.

U.S.A. Briefs

GOP hopeful authors anti-euthanasia bill
WASHINGTON –Senator Sam Brownback (Kan.), a likely contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, introduced the Assisted Suicide Prevention Act, which would prohibit doctors from prescribing federally controlled substances for the purpose of physician suicide. Said Brownback: “When the law permits killing as ‘medical treatment,’ society’s moral guidelines are blurred and killing could gain acceptance as a solution for the chronically ill or vulnerable”

Court upholds gay ‘marriage’ ban
SEATTLE – On July 26, the Washington State Supreme Court issued a ruling on same-sex “marriage” in that state. In a 5-4 decision, the court upheld the state’s Defense of Marriage Act (1998), maintaining the traditional definition of marriage as the union between one man and one woman. So far, only Massachusetts permits homosexual “marriage.” Washington’s ban on same-sex “marriage, which passed in the state legislature in 1998 despite a veto from Governor Gary Locke, was challenged in 2004 by 19 homosexual couples, backed by gay activist organizations such as the Northwest Women’s Law Centre, Lamba Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington. Nevertheless, the court stated that, “The legislature was entitled to believe that limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples furthers the state’s legitimate interest in procreation and the well-being of children.” The ruling came shortly after that of  the New York State Appeals Court, which stated “to recognize marriage between people of the same sex would result in the abolition of male and female and have devastating effects on children. Children do best when raised with a mom and a dad.”

Doctors asked to ‘let’ man die
NEW YORK – Pamela Wincock, a Wall Street journalist, recently witnessed her father recover in the hospital from unconsciousness to being able to sit upright in a wheelchair and talk. But his recovery would never have been permitted if many doctors and nurses had their wish. They persistently asked several members of the family to remove the feeding tube from Louis Wincock, claiming that he would never recover from his blood clot in early May. They were clearly wrong. Pamela wrote in a column: “On Father’s Day, we packed my father’s hospital room: his wife, daughters, grandchildren, each of us regaling him with our successes, large and small. I wanted to go back to ICU, find Dr. Death, drag him to my father’s room and say: ‘This is the life you wanted to end.’”

Born baby killed at Florida abortuary
HIALEAH – An investigation is underway at a Florida abortuary after police found the body of a baby who was allegedly killed after birth. Police confirmed that the 18-year-old mother gave birth to the baby while in the waiting room. An anonymous caller then said that the employees cut the umbilical cord, put the baby in a bag and walked away with him or her. An autopsy is being done to determine if the child was alive at birth. If he or she was, the child would be classed under the Born-Alive Infants protection law, which ensures protection to any child born alive at any stage of development.