U.S.: Catholic bishops’ agenda hurts families

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Catholic bishops' agenda hurts families

Jon O'Brien
June 20, 2017

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is kicking off its annual Fortnight for Freedom in Baltimore tomorrow in a celebratory mood. Every year, the bishops present this event as an effort to defend religious liberty. But we’ve seen over five years its real intent: to galvanize the Catholic hierarchy around an agenda to discriminate against and impose their beliefs on Catholics and non-Catholics alike. And their persistence has paid off, despite very little support or attention from everyday Catholics.

Why? Because they found a benefactor unlike any other. President Trump has rewarded the bishops handily for their loyalty during the elections...

Continued at source: Baltimore Sun: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-op-0621-bishops-fortnight-20170619-story.html

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U.S.: Alternative Science and Human Reproduction

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Alternative Science and Human Reproduction

R. Alta Charo, J.D.
June 14, 2017
DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1707107

Human reproduction has become the victim of alternative science, rife with alternative definitions of well-understood medical conditions and characterized by rejection of the scientific method as the standard for generating and evaluating evidence. Alternative science begins with alternative facts of the sort propounded by the Trump administration and its appointees, including Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price, who has claimed that “there’s not one” woman who can’t afford birth control on her own (despite the high up-front cost of the most reliable contraceptives). Alternative science is similarly embraced by recent executive-branch appointees Valerie Huber, Teresa Manning, Charmaine Yoest, and Katy Talento.

Continued at source: New England Journal of Medicine: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1707107#t=article

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U.S.: How Anti-Abortion Zealots Pose as Medical Professionals to Trick Pregnant Women

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How Anti-Abortion Zealots Pose as Medical Professionals to Trick Pregnant Women

Callie Beusman
May 30 2017

Anti-abortion groups are opening fake clinics near actual reproductive health care providers across the country in an attempt to shame and scare women into staying pregnant.

On an overcast Saturday morning in late May, several protesters had gathered outside of Hartford GYN Center, an abortion clinic in Connecticut. Many of them were clutching rosaries, and some bore signs decorated with images of beatific infants, with the implication that similar infants were in immediate danger of being murdered. They were, by their own description, facing down "the Evil One;" later in the day, a protester would tell me that an acquaintance of hers had once seen the devil himself crouched atop a different clinic and mistaken it for a gargoyle.

Continued at source: Broadly/VICE: https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/how-anti-abortion-zealots-pose-as-medical-professionals-to-trick-pregnant-women

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Chilean Senators try to alter the text of the abortion bill for and against safe abortion

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Chilean Senators try to alter the text of the abortion bill for and against safe abortion
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
April 19, 2017

A news report on 1 April revealed that several anti-abortion Senators have sought to modify the ground of risk of the woman’s life, to say that “all legitimate medical practice to save the life of the mother that, as a result, ends the life of the fetus is not abortion”. However, although they claim that this rewording is “with nuances of grammar, but similar in its intention”, in fact this is an anti-abortion substitute for making abortion legal if there is a risk to the woman’s life. This is the language of the Dublin Declaration on Maternal Healthcare of 2012, which states unequivocally that abortion is never medically necessary, even to save the life of a pregnant woman. It is a kind of double-speak that led to the death of Savita Halappanavar in Ireland, where the Declaration was published just before her death. Abortion rights advocates should oppose it, if they are not doing so already.

The Government, for its part, reintroduced a number of grounds that had been rejected in the Chamber of Deputies; among them, the right to decide on abortion at the age of 14 years and the elimination of the requirement to report any woman who has an abortion to the police, which is currently required of clinicians.

The deadline for Senators to propose any further changes has passed. The next step in the process began on 4 April, in the Senate Health Committee, chaired by Senator PPD Guido Girardi, the new President of the Commission. He assured the Committee that they will hold no more hearings, and that now was the time to legislate and that they were going to discuss all the grounds. In total, there were 120 amendments to the bill, which they began to review during the week of 10 April.

In line with the Government’s views, Senator and presidential candidate Alejandro Guillier is supporting permitting abortion in cases of rape up to 18 weeks of pregnancy and restrictions on the exercise of conscientious objection, requiring prior written notification, a rationale and the approval of the director of the health facility concerned.

Other changes proposed by anti-abortion Senator Andres Zaldivar are to lower the “intensity” of the criminal prosecution of women having abortion, i.e. reducing but not eliminating prison sentences, as a “more humane approach to the problem”. This point has generated one of the largest debates in the DC party and with independent senators, who are opposed to women who have abortions ending up in jail. He has also proposed that if a fetal anomaly has been diagnosed, the pregnancy should not be aborted but the hospital should wait and “induce labour” at 22 weeks in order to deliver a live but very premature baby that will need intensive treatment to stay alive, as has been imposed in several cases, e.g. Paraguay, on young girls. This is not abortion, but it is international anti-abortion ideology and language.

In contrast, a number of pro-choice Senators have proposed to extend the grounds of risk to the woman’s life by adding the concept of “serious harm to health” as well as life. Senator Girardi was going to add that this can apply to the “present or future” but it seems he has not done so. Another proposal has been to extend the types of fetal anomaly incompatible with life to “congenital malformation, genetic alteration or acquired pathology”.

These proposals, representing the different sides on this issue, are a sign that support for this bill’s intention to permit abortion in limited circumstances is far from being secured.

SOURCE: EMOL, 1 April 2017 ; biobiochile, 5 April 2017 ; PHOTO, Agencia UNO ;

Thanks to Lidia Casas Becerra for checking this text, 18 April 2017

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Source: International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/chilean-senators-try-to-alter-the-text-of-the-abortion-bill-for-and-against-safe-abortion/

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Miss-Information

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Miss-Information
2017 ISSUE 1, Conscience
Abortion abortion access UK
Increased scrutiny reveals the deceptions and aggressions of antiabortion activists in the UK

By Clare Murphy / Posted Apr 19, 2017

In ‘Debating Abortion on Campus,’ published in the 2016(3) issue of Conscience, Jon O’Brien eloquently made the case for why prochoice advocates should not shy away from debate, documenting the censorship of the antichoice opposition that has crept onto campuses across the United Kingdom and the United States. “In a healthy society, people aren’t afraid to discuss things. We must never be afraid of the battle of ideas,” he wrote. Indeed. So why should women accessing abortion services be an exception, shielded from the ideas and opinions of protesters on the street outside? Should they, as the respected US lawyer and social critic Wendy Kaminer has argued, have to accept that “feeling intimidated, being confronted and ‘stressed’ by people who oppose abortion rights, is sometimes the price of free speech”?

Continued at source: Conscience: http://consciencemag.org/2017/04/19/miss-information/

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Ireland: Anti-abortion clinic tells women sex and abortion could kill them

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Anti-abortion clinic tells women sex and abortion could kill them
James Wilson
April 05, 2017

Unauthorized pregnancy crisis centers in Dublin are misleading expectant women about the risks of sex, abortion and contraception.

An undercover investigation for The Times found that the Ask Majella and Gianna Care advisory services telling women that contraception was a health risk, there was a link between abortion and breast cancer and sometimes sex even lead women to “die”.

Continued at source: Irish Central: http://www.irishcentral.com/news/anti-abortion-clinic-tells-women-sex-and-abortion-could-kill-them

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Ireland: Delay in reforming abortion advice clinics is inexcusable

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Delay in reforming abortion advice clinics is inexcusable
February 21 2017, 12:01am, The Irish Times
by Brendan Howlin

Those on both sides of the issue can agree that lying to women is abuse. So why won’t Simon Harris update the law?
The abortion debate provokes strong emotions and arguments. We all recognise that and I hope we do our best to respect differences of opinion.

But there are some ground rules I thought we had all agreed on a long time ago.
One is that debate should be based on fact, not fiction. Another is that women in crisis pregnancies are entitled to support, information
and non-judgmental counselling if they want it.

Continued source: Irish Times: http://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/ireland/delay-in-reforming-abortion-advice-clinics-is-inexcusable-lzklrr0sj

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France to sanction ‘misleading’ anti-abortion websites

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France to sanction ‘misleading’ anti-abortion websites
The new law extends existing punishments for interfering with abortion to the internet, and offers a counterpoint to Trump.

By Natalie Huet
2/16/17

French lawmakers Thursday passed a new law sanctioning websites that aim to dissuade women from terminating a pregnancy by using “misleading claims” on abortion.

In its own controversial way, the Socialist government is offering a counterpoint to Donald Trump’s move to reinstate the U.S.’s global gag rule. A Dutch-led funding initiative to support family planning worldwide has also been gaining traction.

Continued at source: Politico: http://www.politico.eu/article/france-to-sanction-misleading-anti-abortion-websites/

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Sales of anti-abortion license plates in the US are funding unregulated clinics that push medical lies

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Sales of anti-abortion license plates in the US are funding unregulated clinics that push medical lies
Written by Neha Thirani Bagri

February 16, 2017

In the US, drivers stick vanity license plates on their cars to express support for everything from national parks and veterans to breast cancer awareness—and anti-abortion clinics. Twenty-nine states offer “Choose Life” license plates that cost anywhere from $25 to $70, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

In 1997, Randy Harris, a county commissioner in Florida, started the organization Choose Life to promote the creation and sale of these license plates across the country. He wanted to use sales to fund “pro-life pregnancy centers” and “other life affirming agencies,” according to the organization’s website. In 2000, Florida became the first state to pass legislation that allowed the sale of these specialty plates.

Continued at source: Quartz: https://qz.com/911715/sales-of-anti-abortion-license-plates-in-the-us-are-funding-unregulated-clinics-that-push-medical-lies/

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Northern Ireland: Precious Life petition misleading, if not dishonest – Bradshaw

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December 15, 2016

Alliance Health Spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has said the petition presented to the Assembly on behalf of Precious Life was misleading, and potentially dishonest.

Paula Bradshaw said: "On 28 November, Jim Wells made a great fuss of presenting to the Speaker of the Assembly what he described as 'the largest ever petition received by the Northern Ireland Assembly' when he delivered what he said were 57 boxes containing 300,000 signatures calling for the protection of the unborn child.

"I have since been told by the Justice Minister that she received 47 boxes of material containing nine separate campaigns dating from 2001 to 2014. These campaigns included opposition to plans by a 'group of pro-abortion MPs' to change the law on abortion.

[continued at link]
Source: Alliance Party

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