Posted on | December 4, 2013 by J.C. von Krempach, J.D.
It is a long standing myth, often rehashed by those who want abortion to be legalized under all and any conditions, that thousands of women die as a consequence of “unsafe” abortions each year, and that legalizing abortion would mean that abortions become “safe”, so that legalization would save the lives of many women.
The error in this equation is that “legal” abortions are “safe”.
As the daily newspaper “Der Standard” reports today, the Public Prosecutors’ Office at the Vienna District Court holds a very different opinion.
In 2012, following a decade-long series of complaints relating to at least 16 incidents in which women had suffered severe injuries as a consequence of botched abortions, the public health authorities of the Austrian capital saw themselves obliged to intervene, imposing a ban from further practising her profession on a female abortionist, and closing down her ordination.
In all the cases under investigation, the abortions had been “legal” under Austrian law. But apparently they were not safe.
The Public Prosecutors’ Office has today released a press statement according which it has been decided that a criminal investigation against the clumsy abortionist will be discontinued. The investigation related to a case in which the pregnant woman’s uterus had been perforated.
The decision was accompanied with the explanation that the Public Prosecutors’ Office relied on the opinion of an independent medical expert, according which “injuries such as the perforation of the uterus are a normal risk that is associated with every abortion”. Therefore, the investigation could not lead to a finding of medical malpractice.
Ladies, think twice before you go for a “safe” abortion!
Posted on | December 3, 2013 by Wendy Wright
China’s top filmmaker has released an open letter on his blog admitting he and his wife have three children. Why the fuss? Their two sons and daughter were not pre-approved by family planning officials.
Zhang Yimou and his wife “sincerely apologize to the public for the negative impact this event has caused.”
Officials had dispatched teams to track him down after he recently went missing.
Local family planning officials launched an investigation in May when reports surfaced online of Zhang’s multiple children. Jiangsu province, where they live, fines parents with 2 “extra” children up to five to eight times their combined annual income.
Zhang produced the spectacular Beijing Olympics’ opening and closing ceremonies. His films “Raise the Red Lantern” and “To Live” (about a man who just wants to live a simple life) have won international acclaim.
In the past few years, pictures of babies forcibly aborted have exposed China’s brutal practices. But this latest news is drawing attention to the draconian practices of officials who use family planning to control populations.
Reaction online within China is revealing the angst over the abusive policy limiting the children people can have. The Wall Street Journal reports some believe Zhan is blameless for wanting children, and others see this as a privilege afforded the rich and powerful.
“In Chinese society, if you have money, you have power. You can have as many kids as you want. Common people have it the toughest,” wrote one person.
“If I had three children,” wrote another, “my children wouldn’t be able to register for a hukou, and my wife and I would probably lose our jobs.” Hukou is a household registration system to control where people can live.
China’s powerful family planning agents punish violators of the one-child policy – which requires pre-approval before conceiving a child – with jail, losing jobs, forced sterilizations and abortions and heavy fines. Sometimes family members are imprisoned and houses bulldozed.
China recently slightly revised its invasive one-child policy to allow adults who are only-children to have a second child. This will have little effect on the impending demographic crash with too few workers, or people to provide for the elderly.
Zhang said he would accept any punishment.
Posted on | December 2, 2013 by Rebecca Oas, Ph.D
A recent study found that 78% of transgender people in Ireland have considered suicide, and news sources are using this finding to call attention to Ireland’s lack of a law recognizing gender identity. As the Irish Times points out:
“Transgender people have a gender identity or expression different to the one they were born with. They are not legally recognised in Ireland – Ireland is the last State in Europe not to allow transgender people to have their birth certificate reissued in their preferred gender, although Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton has committed to such legislation.”
The Irish study was modeled after a similar one published last year in the UK.
This UK study reported that 84% of transgender participants had contemplated suicide and 53% had engaged in some form of self-harm. In comparison, the Irish transgender study reported a suicide contemplation rate of 78%, and a 44% rate of self-harm.
The UK passed its Gender Recognition Act in 2004.
“This report, like its UK counterpart – The UK Trans Mental Health Study 2012 – is the only report to comprehensively provide an indication of the mental health and wellbeing of the trans population.”
Indications, like statistics, require context. However poor the mental health metrics might be for transgender people in Ireland, they could still be worse – just look at the UK. But you won’t find that in the leading news reports.
Croatia: the outcome of the constitutional referendum on marriage is a clear victory for common sense and human dignity – but the fight must continue
Posted on | December 2, 2013 by J.C. von Krempach, J.D.
Although the turnout of voters was low, the outcome of the referendum held in Croatia yesterday is very clear: 66% voted in favour of the proposal to include in the country’s constitution a new provision that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Croatia will be the 6th EU Member State (after Poland, Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, and Hungary) to provide for such a clarification at the level of constitutional law. Other countries might follow. Each country is important, as it can set a new obstacle to attempts, be it by law courts, parliaments or EU institutions, to wilfully re-define marriage and the family. People have come to understand that such manipulations affect them all: this is not about “the rights of a sexual minority”, but about all of us. It has to do with the question whether we accept the commodification of the human body with all its consequences (i.e., not only homosexual “marriages”, but also, by logical necessity, prostitution, pornography, and paedophilia), or whether we understand that this commodification of sex is a dangerous assault on human dignity.
The outcome of yesterday’s referendum is therefore an important and resounding victory for human dignity – not only in Croatia, but far beyond. And the fact that this victory was won against the declared will of the country’s political nomenklatura and mass media makes it all the more important: it has become evident that the homosexualist agenda is the agenda of a very small (but, alas, all too vociferous) minority.
As one had to expect, the triumph of common sense has sparked the anger and frustration of these powerful groups. There were a lot of negative comments both in Croatian and International Press.
Those who, by pointing at yesterday’s rather low voter turnout of roughly 38 of the electorate, try to downplay the significance of the result, should however be aware of two things: firstly, that the referendum was triggered by a citizens’ initiative that collected statements of support from more than 750.000 citizens in just two weeks, which is an incredibly high turnout for a country of just 4.2 million inhabitants (not all of which are allowed to vote) and, secondly, that yesterday’s referendum also was an occasion for all those who opposed the proposal to make their voices heard. Thus, if those voting in favour of the proposed amendment were just 25% of the electorate, it is also true that those opposing the amendment were just 13%. Which just proves that, despite relentless media campaigning, same-sex “marriages” have no appeal to normal people.
For the same reason, it makes no sense to say, as some international media do, that the country was “deeply split” over the referendum. In reality 60% of the population appear to have been rather indifferent, and among the rest there was a very clear majority in favour of the amendment.
Others say that the referendum was “unnecessary”, as there were no official government plans to legislate for same-sex “marriages”, and accuse the organiser’s of the citizens’ initiative that led to the referendum of “having wasted more than 50 million kuna for an unnecessary referendum”. This line of argumentation, which really looks like the sore losers’ desperate attempt to find a reason for criticism, is doubly disingenuous: firstly, because experience shows (it suffices to look at France, the UK, or Germany) that the introduction of “civil partnerships” for homosexuals often is just the first step towards introducing same-sex “marriages”, and secondly, because the country’s government, had it really wanted to avert the cost of organizing a referendum, could itself have easily averted it by endorsing the proposed constitutional amendment. Complaints about the high cost of a referendum on an important question like this are crocodiles’ tears, and only reveal the lack of democratic conviction of those proffering them.
Finally, there are those who, like Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic, claim that “this referendum … gives a chance to the majority to strip a minority of its rights.”
This is of course nonsense, and a head of government should know better than making such childish, irresponsible statements.
Firstly, this was a referendum on what marriage is, not on who should be allowed, or not be allowed, to marry. Obviously, everybody who has reached the necessary age has the right to marry. Thus, there is no discrimination. The gay-rights-lobby has framed the issue in a very strange way, but in reality the problem is not that some people do not have the right to marry, but that a small but loud pressure group wants to re-define marriage.
Secondly, homosexual couples have never been able to marry. So, how can any serious-minded person claim that the proposed amendment will “strip a minority of its rights”?????
Such silly and distortive assertions, picking up and repeating the long-standing leitmotivs of homosexualist propaganda, are completely out of their place in the briefing book of anyone who wants to be perceived as a main-stream politician. They provide sad evidence of the stultification of political debate, the dishonesty with which the homosexualist lobby frames the agenda, and the intellectual laziness of the mass media who repeat and multiply such slogans without even one single word of criticism.
Even after yesterday’s victory, the defenders of human dignity must therefore remain vigilant. As a reaction to the referendum’s outcome, the government has a ready-made plan how to circumvent the new constitutional amendment, announcing a bill that would set homosexual partnerships on an equal footing with marriage in everything but the name.
Posted on | December 2, 2013 by J.C. von Krempach, J.D.
1st December is a “secular holiday”, the World AIDS Day. People wear red ribbons and converse about just how terrible AIDS is, and how the international community is letting down the victims.
I find the wearing of red ribbons rather silly, that’s why I don’t do it. But of course I agree that AIDS is terrible, and that the international community (aka “Global AIDS”) is a terrible failure.
Even worse than not preventing the spread of AIDS, “Global AIDS” (i.e. the coalition of UNAIDS and international donors, politicians and opinion leaders) has actually done all it could to perpetuate the AIDS crisis, in particular through a flawed communication strategy. Rather than addressing the real problem underlying the spread of AIDS, i.e. high-risk sexual behaviour, they consistently avoided speaking about this subject. Instead they concentrated on campaigns to promote the use of condoms, thereby creating a false expectation that the use of condoms makes sex “safe”. This false information has cost the life of millions, and has brought misery and suffering to many more.
I would not want to be one of those who are responsible for this disaster. And of course, neither do they. Although the facts about AIDS are well known, and have indeed been known for many years, the “Global AIDS” community is particularly slow in accepting them. This is no wonder, because accepting the truth about AIDS would imply acceptance of the flaws in the strategy that has been followed so far, and assuming responsibility for them.
World AIDS Day is a good occasion to recapitulate some of the basic facts about HIV/AIDS:
- AIDS is an infectious disease. However, it is NOT transmitted through normal bodily contacts, but only through the exchange of body liquids. It is therefore generally safe to have normal social contacts with HIV-positive people, and there is no reason to cut social ties with them. (This regrettable tendency to discriminate bearers of the HI-virus is often described as “stigmatization” – a silly word, as originally the “stigmata” were the wounds that Christ received through his passion. If, later on, other persons, such as St. Francis of Assisi or P. Pio da Pietrelcina received such stigmata, this was generally seen as a distinctive sign of great sanctity, not as a sign of social exclusion.)
- The main way in which AIDS is transmitted (certainly more than 98% of all cases) is through sexual intercourse, both heterosexual and homosexual (i.e., men having sex with men, often abbreviated as “MSM”). Exceptionally, AIDS can also be transmitted through the shared use of injection needles, which makes drug users a high-risk group. But essentially, it is a sexually transmissible disease (STD).
- As things currently stand, AIDS cannot be healed. Available medical treatments can only delay the outbreak of the disease, or alleviated its effects. Thanks to these treatments, people can live with AIDS for many years, even decades. But it is a miserable life.
- There also is no vaccination against AIDS. The only thing that can be prevented is the transmission of the virus from an HIV-positive mother to her new-born child. This is done through a vaccination immediately after birth.
- The risk of transmitting the virus is greatest with newly infected persons, i.e. in the first weeks or months after having oneself caught the infection. This is because in these first weeks the body of the newly infected person has not yet activated its immune system. When the body’s immune system is activated, the risk of transmitting the infection is considerably lower, but not excluded. What follows is a permanent war between the virus and the immune system within the infected person’s body, in which finally the former will prevail over the latter. In that last phase, the risk of transmitting the infection will again rise – however, by that time the victim will be so weakened that he is much less likely to engage in sexual activities than in the first weeks after having caught the virus.
- Thus it is the newly infected persons who are the most likely to spread the virus around. This is exacerbated by the fact that often these persons are not aware of being bearers of the HI-virus. And very often they simply don’t want to find out. The easiest way of dealing with potentially unpleasant news is by not dealing with them. This allows many newly-infected persons to persist in their irresponsible behavioural patterns without worrying about the possible consequences.
- In sub-Saharan Africa, AIDS has severely affected the general population. In certain countries, more than 30% of the adult population were bearers of the virus, and the population of entire villages was extinct as a consequence of the pandemic.
- In all other parts of the world, the pandemic has affected almost exclusively two social groups: drug users who share injection needles, and male homosexuals. The spread of AIDS is not, as some claim, a result of “discrimination” or “social exclusion”, but it has to do with the behavioural patterns of those victim groups. In other words, the victims themselves are responsible. If you are neither a drug-user, nor a male homosexual, yor risk of cathcing AIDS are minimal.
- What do the general population in sub-Saharan Africa and male homosexuals in the rest of the world have in common? It is their sexual promiscuity, i.e. the habit of entertaining carnal relationships with several persons in parallel. If this pattern of behaviour could be broken, the fight against AIDS would be won.
- In that context, it seems appropriate to clarify that “serial monogamy” (which means that sexual relationships remain exclusive, even if the partner changes every few years or so), which, following the sexual revolution of the 1960s, has become the predominant behavioural pattern among heterosexuals in Western countries, does not carry a major risk of spreading HIV/AIDS. This is why, despite the breakdown of marriage, the pandemic is not widespread among heterosexuals in Europe or the US. Even polygamy, i.e. that a man can be married to more than one woman, is not a problem, as long as there is conjugal fidelity. What is really dangerous is the development of “sexual networks”, i.e. a culture in which everyone has sex with everyone. This is (or used to be) typical only for populations in sub-Saharan Africa, and, on a world-wide basis, among male homosexuals. This is why, with the exception of Africa, HIV/AIDS is a “gay disease”.
- It follows from what is set out above that the spread of HIV/AIDS could very easily contained, or even reversed, if the accent was set on behavioural change. This, and not drugs and condoms, will overcome the pandemic.
Posted on | November 29, 2013 by J.C. von Krempach, J.D.
I just read in a German newspaper some news that I find incredible, but was not able to ascertain elsewhere. Anyway, the fact is worth reporting, so here we go:
“Immaterial Damages for Extreme Unction
Polish Atheist who was given the sacrament of anointing of the sick files lawsuit and wins – despite having been healed.
Regarding the freedom of conscience, there is a frequent misunderstanding. Usually it is thought to relate to faith and religion. But in fact, the freedom of conscience protects not only faith, but also unbelief – or at least the unbelievers. That was now confirmed by the Supreme Court in Poland.
As the Catholic News Agency KNA reports, a former coma patient had sued a hospital in Szczecin. After his apparently unexpected recovery Jerzy R. learned from the medical records that, while he was in coma, a priest had provided him the sacrament of the sick.
In more common language, this act is widely known as “extreme unction”, because the priest is usually called at the last minute, often too late, to the terminally ill. However, the Catholic Church in recent times has re-interpreted the anointing to be a sacrament of life. The Second Vatican Council has clearly shifted the focus to the healing aspect, which in this case means not only cure from bodily disease, but also the liberation from sin. “The prayer of faith will save the sick”, one reads in the New Testament.
In strongly Catholic Poland it is common practice that, when a patient is in a critical condition, the hospital staff calls a priest to give him the anointing of the sick – often even without asking or informing his family. This automatism now proved fatal: Jerzy R. is an atheist. Not only the sacrament should never have been administered to him but the man, upon unexpectedly having recovered from his illness, turns out to be ungrateful: he went to court, complaining that his freedom of conscience had been disrespected. The Supreme Court has now upheld his claim.
So far, so good. Somewhat absurd, however, is the idea that the patient, who has been cured, is now claiming compensation from the hospital under the title of “immaterial damages”. While it is not clear what damage exactly he has suffered, Jerzy R. is demanding the payment of 21.000 Euro. It must now decide a lower court after the landmark judgment. Following the Supreme Court’s landmark judgment, a lower court must now determine the amount of the compensation”.
Somehow, this case is quintessential for what is going on in our society: we are reaching new levels of idiocy that were unknown to previous generations. What we have here is, on the one hand, the perfect prototype of a militant atheist (or, as they nowadays prefer to call themselves, a “humanist” or “secularist”): a man who squeamishly asserts his status as a “victim” whose rights have been trampled upon, and who at the same time is aggressive and quarrelsome enough to spend his and other people’s time and resources for a lawsuit on such a matter. What a cantankerous, obnoxious, ridiculous, fussy, stingy, petty-minded, lamentable pain in the neck this man must be! I feel sorry for the guy, but I really would not want to be like him.
On the other hand, and this is even worse, we have judges who are ready to hear such cases, and to take them seriously, rather than laughing the man out of court and asking him to pay a fine for having filed what obviously is a vexatious lawsuit. (And obviously, this is like an epidemic in European law courts. Just think of the ECtHR’s notorious judgment in the case of Lautsi vs. Italy.)
In my humble opinion, this lawsuit is the best proof that so-called “secularists” don’t take their own stated beliefs seriously. If they did, then the rite of the anointing of the sick would simply be of no meaning of them: just a few words, muttered sotto voce, and maybe the sign of the cross – not more. In the case at hand, the plaintiff, being in a coma, was probably not even able to notice that someone was praying at his bedside. So, what damage does he believe to have suffered? Did he feel pain? Was his (unexpected) healing delayed? Or was his self-esteem hurt by the fact that someone charitably prayed for him when he seemed to need it?
If “secularists” really were as tolerant as they all claim to be, then they would accept another person’s prayers, even if they believe them to be completely ridiculous and ineffective, as an act of charity. I am myself neither a Muslim nor a Hindu, nor a Buddhist, but if any follower of those different religious prays for me while I’m sick, I’d be simply grateful and take it as a sign of sympathy. What an idiot must one be to make a such a fuss about this!
The lesson to be learned is about the intrinsic nature of modern “secularism”: it is idiocy and fuss-making, combined with a strong dose of meanness. Obviously, the purpose is not to obtain compensation for any “damages”, but to evict, by whatever means seem available, all expressions of religion from the public sphere.
In other words, the man is not a “victim”. He is a hater.
Luckily for him, God has given him a grace period in which he still can convert. I’ll pray for him. And I ask all who read this to do the same. That’s really the best we can do for this poor soul. (But make sure that the European Humanist Federation does not find out…!)
N.B.: Here is a link to a video showing the rite of extreme unction, administered to a life-long non-believer, which is immediately followed by his conversion. A beautiful, deeply touching scene, which is taken from the successful BBC series “Brideshead Revisited”, based upon the homonymous movel by Evelyn Waugh. (Watch it and judge for yourself whether it warrants any compensation claims…)
Posted on | November 29, 2013 by J.C. von Krempach, J.D.
The constitutional referendum that will be held this Sunday in Croatia looks set to become a resounding victory for marriage. But the (ex)communist-led government of the country is mobilizing all it can to persuade people to vote against the proposed amendment that would define marriage as a permanent union between a man and a woman. They finance their campaign with funds taken out of the pockets of the same taxpayers whom they try to manipulate.
In the media, there is now considerable attention for the case of Father Damir Stojic, a well-known priest who exercises his ministry at Zagreb University, and who has very actively supported the campaign to defend marriage. His superiors have requested him to stop preaching on this subject. As it transpired, this order was issued at the direct request of the Ministry of the Interior…
Once again we see that the case for same-sex “marriage” cannot survive in a free and frank discussion. The first objective of the homosexual agitprop is always to curtail public debate and to silence their opponents, be it by gagging orders or, as we have seen in some other cases, through physical violence.
I keep my fingers crossed that the Croatians will bravely overcome this new totalitarianism.
Posted on | November 27, 2013 by Rebecca Oas, Ph.D
A recent report from the European Science Foundation (ESF) calling for sustained funding for human stem cell research attempts to conflate “human stem cell research” and “human embryonic stem cell research.” By doing so, they reveal themselves to be far behind the cutting edge of a rapidly advancing scientific field.
From their press release (available at the above link):
“The report observes that Europe plays a leading role in regenerative medicine research, with most countries featuring legislative frameworks that are globally favourable to human stem cell research. The 30 countries’ position on human stem cell research was grouped into five broad categories; very permissive, permissive with restrictions, restrictive by default, very restrictive and unlegislated.”
The legislative frameworks discussed in the report are strictly with regard to the destruction (and, in some cases, creation) of human embryos for research purposes. There are no laws prohibiting the harvesting of human stem cells from adult tissues, or the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells, using the technique pioneered in 2006-2007 by Nobel Prize-winning researcher Dr. Shinya Yamanaka.
The report does briefly mention Dr. Yamanaka:
“The use of stem cells has developed under much expectation and even controversy worldwide, particularly there where human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) are concerned. The enormous potential of regenerative medicine for restoring tissue or organ function and benefitting mankind has been acknowledged by society with world-class distinctions such as the 2012 Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology awarded to John Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka.”
In a report that mentions very few researchers by name, they do mention the man famous for making embryonic stem cell research effectively replaceable – within the context of a report intended to argue that it is essential.
While there have always been moral and ethical objections to human embryonic stem cell research, the development of induced pluripotent stem cells changed the entire research landscape by providing not only an ethical alternative for those with reservations, but also a self-interest-driven reason for everyone else to put down the embryos and embrace this new source. This was driven in part by policies like the ones detailed in the ESF report. With legal and regulatory red tape surrounding the use of human embryos, any alternative would be more attractive simply to avoid getting mired in bureaucratic messes or finding oneself unable to patent a new invention down the road.
A Lancet editorial commenting on the report notes this reality:
“However, it is acknowledged in the report that adult stem cells…are associated with fewer legal and ethical constraints. Therefore, research with these cells is progressing more readily than that involving embryonic stem cells. The less restricted environment of adult stem-cell research makes these cells more appealing workhorses for the development of new treatments, and perhaps ultimately their application in regenerative medicine.”
All this good news doesn’t seem to have impressed the ESF. Rather than call for the sustained funding of human stem cell research that doesn’t carry ethical or bureaucratic burdens, and which is yielding great results, they focus on making sure that Europe doesn’t pull the plug on grant-funded embryo obliteration.
This seems very backward in a field that prides itself on forward thinking. Perhaps no one personifies the sort of imagination needed in the field better than Dr. Yamanaka himself, who said he was inspired by looking into a microscope:
“When I saw the embryo, I suddenly realized there was such a small difference between it and my daughters. I thought, we can’t keep destroying embryos for our research. There must be another way.”
To some, embryos are research. To others, they could be future researchers. It’s all a matter of how far ahead one is willing to look.
Posted on | November 27, 2013 by J.C. von Krempach, J.D.
Short update on my previous post: as was to be expected, the controversial paedophilia-and-abortion-promoting (but, luckily, not legally binding) ”Estrela-Report” was adopted for a second time by the European Parliament’s Committee on Women’s Rights, despite serious doubts about the procedure (i.e. the decision by the Committee’s president to rule out any possibility for amendments or debate). However, this time the margin was narrower than when the report was for the first time voted in committee, which seems to indicate that support for it is waning.
The vote in Plenary will take place on 10 December. It is now necessary to keep the pressure high. Write to your MEP, telling him that you want him to vote against.
EU: Gay politicians not happy about Croatian marriage referendum. But 80 Non-governmental organizations support the right of Croatians to have their say on same-sex marriage.
Posted on | November 27, 2013 by J.C. von Krempach, J.D.
As we have reported in a previous blog entry, a constitutional referendum will be held in Croatia this Sunday on the proposal to include a definition of marriage as the “permanent union of a man and a woman” in the Constitutions. The latest opinion surveys suggest that the outcome could be between 60 and 70% in favour of such an amendment.
In most countries, constitutional law does not contain such a definition. The reason for this is that until not many years ago nobody thought such a definition to be necessary, as there was universal agreement that marriages could only be concluded between one man and one woman. The Netherlands, which adopted a law on same-sex “marriages” in 2001, was the first country in the world to undermine this universal consensus. Other countries have followed. In some, the term marriage was re-defined with a simple parliamentary majority, whereas in other countries the constitutional courts suddenly and surprisingly “discovered” that homosexual relationships had the same or similar value as marriages, and should therefore be treated in the same way. In the same vein, international bodies such as the European Court of Human Rights started to adopt decisions that systematically undermine the meaning of marriage.
It is a “revolution from the top” on which ordinary people usually are not allowed to have a say. Indeed, for this revolution to be successful, it was necessary to overturn democracy, and to prevent any democratic debate on the issue. Normal people do not want marriage to be re-defined.
The most emblematic case is perhaps California, where (despite being considered the international stronghold of the homosexualist movement) a popular referendum held in 2008 resulted in a ban on same-sex “marriages” to be included in the State’s Constitution. However, the State’s political and judicial elites did not accept this democratic decision, but overturned it through grotesque manipulations. A federal judge (who happened to be the first openly gay person in that function) ruled that the referendum had been “unconstitutional”, and the State government, whose role it would have been to defend the Constitution adopted by the electorate, refused to do so. In the end, the US Supreme Court, in the case Hollingsworth v. Perry, ruled by a narrow majority that proponents of initiatives such as Proposition 8 did not possess legal standing in their own right to defend the resulting law in federal court. It results that even a clear majority of the people, or a constitutional law, may not suffice to defend the institution of marriage, if the political and judicial elites of a country are stubbornly determined to undermine it.
But that is no reason why such referendums should not be held, and why the reasonable majority should not make its voice heard. A growing number of European countries have amended their constitutions to clarify what is self-evident, namely that marriage has no other meaning than that of a union between one man and one woman. Those countries include Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Hungary. All these amendments were made to forestall possible attempts by the European Court of Human Rights or the EU to impose the legal recognition of same-sex “marriages” on the basis of flimsy interpretations of EU or CoE law. In Estonia and Slovenia, successful citizen’s initiatives managed to stall government initiatives to re-write the laws of nature. The public is awakening, and it does not want to live under the dictatorship of the gay lobby.
Now it is the turn of the Croatian people to send this message not only to their own government, but also to Brussels and Strasbourg.
Obviously, the lunatic fringe in the European Parliament are not at all happy about this. The same-sex agenda cannot be successful when there is too much democracy. In a video released a few days ago, Michael “Blitzkrieg” Cashman, and Ulrike “the Butch” Lunacek, two Members of the European Parliament who specialize in promoting sexual aberrances and fighting against the interest of normal families, released a video in which they say that they are “deeply worried” with regard to the referendum in Croatia. While, with sweet-sour mines, they cannot avoid recognizing the legitimacy for Croatia to hold such a referendum, they nevertheless claim that this is “a referendum that asks a majority to determine, or to take away, the rights of a minority” and that “this is not an inclusive version of democracy”.
Mrs. Lunacek even goes as far as saying that “I have no doubt that, whatever the outcome of this referendum, equality and justice will prevail in the end”. This should probably not be interpreted as a pledge of respect for the people’s will, but as a pledge to fight it: the butch hopes that, like in the case of California, some way will be found to overrule the will of the people. Clearly, she has a strange understanding of democracy.
The website of the European Parliament’s gay-rights lobby quotes another MEP, Nikola Vuljanić, as saying: “Of course, this referendum is organised within the remit of the law. But the fact that it is legal does not mean it is just. Putting issues of basic human rights to vote is a very dangerous move.”
It is absolutely worthwhile to watch this video, and to take note of these arguments, which are the best proof for the profoundly anti-democratic attitude, and the distorted understanding of human rights, that are so typical for the politicians who promote same-sex “marriage”
Indeed, saying that the majority should not have the right to determine the law is an attack on the fundamental principle of democracy itself. If each and every minority were to itself determine its own rights, then there would be no objection for Muslim minorities to introduce Jihad and Shariah law, for rich people to introduce tax exemptions for themselves, for thieves and murderers to abolish criminal sanctions for their misdeeds, for medical practitioners to abolish liability for malpractice, and so forth. Each of us can define himself as part of some “minority” that must be granted “autonomy”. Of course, it is necessary for a democratic society to accommodate the legitimate needs of ethnic or religious minorities. But democracy does not mean that everyone is allowed to make rules for himself, to the detriment of others. Society only needs one type of marriage, namely the marriage between a man and a woman, which serves the purpose of raising children and thus contributes to the common good. This type of marriage, and it alone, is necessary and needs protection. No minority has the right to undermine it.
It is therefore outlandishly silly to claim that the Croatian referendum is “not inclusive”. In fact, protecting marriage serves the best interest of everyone, gays and lesbians included. And it is nonsense to claim that same-sex “marriage” is a “basic human right”. In actual fact, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Human Rights Convention explicitly define and protect marriage as the union between a man and a woman. Same-sex “marriages” not only are not a human right, but they undermine the human right to marriage as set out in those documents.
And obviously, it is nonsense to claim that there is “discrimination” with regard to marriage, i.e. that lesbians and gays have no right to marry. Everybody has the right to marriage, – but gays and lesbians do not want to make use of that right. Fair enough, but that’s their own problem. The claim for same-sex “marriages” is in fact the claim to re-define marriage: in other words, those who do not want marriage (in the true sense of the word) for themselves think that it should be abolished for everyone else. Mr. Cashman and Mrs. Lunacek do not want marriage for themselves, so nobody should be allowed to marry.
But fortunately, there is by now a sufficiently strong and well-organized civil society to stand up for democracy. Not less than 80 non-governmental organizations have sent a joint to the Croatian Members of the European Parliament, encouraging them to defend the correct understanding of marriage.
There is now a clear trend among European countries to defend marriage. I hope this trend continues and will also manifest itself on the European level.
The Estrela-Abortion-and-Masturbation-Report, second attempt: the Anti-Life-Lobby defies the European Parliament
Posted on | November 25, 2013 by J.C. von Krempach, J.D.
As mentioned in an earlier post, the abortion lobby is going to make a second attempt to get the IPPF-drafted “Estrela-Report” on sexual and reproductive health adopted by the European Parliament.
Although it is not legally binding, the draft report, which is named after the rapporteur Edite Estrela (a Portuguese left-wing MEP with close links to the abortion industry, who allegedly led her hand when drafting the paper) is highly controversial, as it misinterprets the concept of health in order to promote a “right to abortion”, and advocates the curtailing of conscientious objection rights for medical practitioners.
In addition, in what appears to be an attempt to secure a future clientele for the abortion industry, the draft recommends measures to sexualize adolescents and children, beginning from toddler age. Among other things, it calls for compulsory “comprehensive sexual education in and outside school” (i.e. compulsory interference with the educational work of parents, which is in open contradiction to Art. 2 of the 1st Protocol to the European Human Rights Convention!), which would involve information on masturbation to be given to 0-4 year olds. Unfortunately, Mrs. Estrela has never explained how she imagines this masturbation training to be carried out in practice.
Tomorrow’s session of the European Parliament’s Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality will not be the moment to ask her. Although, in its session of 22 October, the Parliament’s plenary assembly had referred the report back to the Committee in order for it to be redrafted, the fanaticized pro-abortionist majority in that Committee has refused to take the hint: it must be either the radical Estrela draft, or no report at all. The Committee’s President Mikael Gustafsson , a Swedish communist, has therefore drawn up an agenda for tomorrow according which the Committee will take a new vote on the controversial draft without any possibility of tabling new amendments, and without consideration of an alternative resolution.
Given that a strong majority of its members are highly ideologized feminists with close links to the abortion industry, it seems likely that the Committee will adopt the un-reformed version of the draft report for a second time. However, the decisive question is whether the report will be adopted by the Plenary, which will deal with it in the upcoming December session. The abortionist ideology that holds sway in the Women’s Rights Committee is not necessarily representative of the general mood in the European Parliament. With the upcoming elections in May 2014, there is now increasing awareness that the radical and anti-human-rights positions of Mrs. Estrela and her crowd enjoy hardly any support in the wider population. If in the past reports with similar content have been adopted, it was because there was virtually no public awareness of them – and one has even reason to wonder how many MEPs actually knew what they were voting for….
But the Estrela-Report cannot anymore rely on such ignorance: the negative vote on 22 October has caught considerable public attention, and by now there is no MEP who can claim not to be aware of the text’s strange early-childhood-masturbation-agenda. Whoever votes in favour of this report conscientiously lends his support an agenda that involves structural and systematic child abuse. The MEPs who vote on the report in Plenary know that they will be watched, and that voting for this kind of agenda can massively cost them votes in next year’s elections. The resounding success of the European Citizens’ Initiative “One of Us”, which, representing the exact opposite of Mrs. Estrela’s anti-life agenda, has been the most successful of all such citizens’ initiative so far, sends a clear signal to MEPs: the times when the wider public didn’t know, or didn’t care, about the deals that the abortion lobby were able to strike in the Parliament’s back-offices, are now over. There is now public awareness and scrutiny.
Mr. Gustaffson and still needs to learn the lesson. In a democracy, refusal to listen to others is not a sign of strength, but of arrogance. It was precisely this lack of willingness to engage in a substantial debate that led many Parliamentarians, including some liberal and socialist members, to request the referral back to Committee. In doing so, the Parliament’s plenary set a clear task to Mr. Gustafsson: a majority of MEPs considered the draft inapt for plenary vote, and therefore wanted it to be re-worked in order to find a compromise that could be expected to satisfy other MEPs than just the lunatic fringe. By re-submitting the ill-drafted report without even scheduling a debate on it, let alone allowing the tabling of new amendments, the Women’s Rights Committee exhibits an astoundingly anti-democratic attitude. Why are they so afraid of debate? Is it because they have no arguments?
For more detailed suggestions how to write to your MEP, use the following links:
Posted on | November 23, 2013 by J.C. von Krempach, J.D.
On 1 December, a referendum will be held in the Republic of Croatia, giving the citizens the opportunity to decide whether an amendment defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman will be added to the country’s constitution.
This is the follow-up of an incredibly successful citizens’ initiative held earlier this year, through which citizens, in view of government plans to introduce new legislation that would greatly expand the rights for gay couples and was seen as a first step towards a full-fledged legal recognition of same-sex wannabe “marriages”, petitioned that such a referendum take place. The target to be reached was 450.000 signatures, but the initiative received statements of support from 750.000 citizens within just two weeks – despite systematic harassment by the government, which unsuccessfully appealed to the country’s Constitutional Court to prohibit the initiative on the grounds that it was “discriminatory”. The Constitutional Court, however, ruled that the initiative and the upcoming referendum were not in contradiction to the principle that all citizens are equal before the law.
It is expected that the referendum will result in an overwhelming victory for those who seek to protect the true meaning of marriage against ideological distortions.
A similar situation has occurred last year in Slovenia, where a government bill to legislate for same-sex “marriages”, despite having been supported by a strong majority in Parliament, was overturned by a popular referendum.
In both Slovenia and Croatia, the debate around so-called “LGBT rights” evidences the growing disconnection between the ruling classes (which, due to their lack of genuine moral and intellectual qualities, one would hesitate to describe as “elites”) and the population. In both countries, politics and economy are under the control of a small – mostly ex-communist – nomenklatura seeking to ingratiate itself with the influential pressure-groups that currently act as opinion-makers throughout the greater part of Western and Northern Europe. These elites believe that, in order to be worthy members of the EU, their countries need to recognize same-sex “marriages”, and be it against the declared will of the people.
The nomenklatura’s contempt for democracy becomes apparent in a statement by the country’s president Ivo Josipović, a former communist, who said he had doubts “whether we need such a referendum”. The Minister of Social Politics and Youth, Milanka Opačić, called the referendum “expensive and completely unnecessary”. In addition, the Prime Minister of Croatia, Zoran Milanović, called the referendum “completely pointless” and said that “this will be the first and last time that such a referendum is announced”.
Pointless? Yes, because the government appears determined to simply ignore the outcome of the plebiscite. he Minister or Public Administration, Arsen Bauk, has defiantly announced that, in case the referendum is successful (and the introduction of same-sex marriages thus becomes impossible), a new bill will be drawn up to grant homosexual partnerships the same legal rights as marriages. Since the fall of Communism, one has never seen a Croatian politician treating a democratic expression of the electorate’s will with such arrogance.
However, arrogance and brazen contempt for democracy are by now known to be the trademarks of the homosexualist lobby. It suffices to remember the way in which the French government violently cracked down on the peaceful participants of a demonstration against the re-definition of marriage, or the fact that the European Commission funds the budget of ILGA-Europe, a radical homosexualist lobby group, with more than 1 million Euro of taxpayer’s money every year – a contribution without which this fake “non-governmental organization” would simply cease to exist.
But in the meantime, the real civil society is slowly awakening. The foreseeable outcome of the referendum in Croatia will provide further encouragement.
Posted on | November 20, 2013 by Wendy Wright
November 20 is Universal Children’s Day, first proclaimed by the UN in 1954 to encourage countries to institute a day to promote the welfare of the world’s children.
UNICEF is marking the day with a campaign to End Violence against children. The most degrading of crimes – slavery, trafficking, forced labor, sexual abuse – are easier to commit, and hide, when perpetrated against children. Children are in greatest need of defenders.
Despite the global consensus against violence against children, the most widespread lethal violence globally occurs with the approval of governments and elites: abortion.
Nevertheless, children’s welfare is something we can all get behind.
So it was a surprise to see the Obama administration’s message to the world on Universal Children’s Day.
U.S. Secretary John Kerry – President Obama’s ambassador to the world – supplanted the day dedicated to children’s welfare with a Transgender Day of Remembrance.
The State Department posted this statement on its home webpage:
Transgender Day of Remembrance
SECRETARY KERRY (NOV. 20): “On Transgender Day of Remembrance, we renew our commitment to ensuring that all persons are able to live safely, freely and with dignity, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.” Full Text»
A message honoring Universal Children’s Day could not be found.
One person who works on transnational child trafficking remarked, “There was a time when Days of Remembrance were for things like, say, holocausts. Now they are for lack of taxpayer funding for sex-change alterations or new bathrooms.”
Posted on | November 16, 2013 by Wendy Wright
Every few years news reports trumpet the Chinese government is loosening it’s brutal one child policy. This week’s announcement that China will allow adults who are only-children to have a second child, while reported as “dramatic,” is a mere tweaking to a massive, abusive program with thousands of individual enforcers who profit handsomely from the policy.
Today – one day after the announcement – Chinese officials quickly downplayed the tweak, saying changing the one-child policy would be too disruptive.
“The basic policy of family planning will need to be upheld over the long term and we cannot rest up on this,” Wang Peian posted on China’s health ministry website.
Population Research Institute has conducted illuminating investigations in China. Note this report that the second-child restriction is more broad than the new policy change addresses:
2. Those who meet the requirements for having a second child, but fail to meet the required waiting period (between births) and where the woman has not yet reached the age of 28 years of age when giving birth, both parties involved will be individually assessed a “social compensation fee” based on an unit calculated from a year’s salary for urban dwellers and based on a year’s income after expenses for rural dwellers. For each year early (that they have given birth) they will be assessed a CSRC Fee equal to 25% of their annual salary or income. A partial year shall be calculated as if it is a full year.
China’s one-child regime is rewarded by UNFPA, which assists and provides resources, like computers, for China’s family planning agency to do its invasive, brutal work. UNFPA receives the bulk of its funding from Western countries. What few strings are attached to this funding, such prohibiting funding of abortion, UNFPA easily evades by passing money through to other organizations like International Planned Parenthood Federation, Marie Stopes and China’s family planning agency.
UNFPA claims its cooperation with China reduces coercion. Yet in the decades of UNFPA’s partnership with China, beginning with helping create the one-child policy, the reports from inside China only get more horrific. The recent spate of pictures, sneaked out through social networking sites, of mothers and their bloodied babies, the victims of forced late-term abortions, have shocked the world.
The fact that this trifling new change of allowing parents who are only-children to have a second child is considered “dramatic” should put to rest any claim that UNFPA reduced coercion throughout the last 30 years it’s been working hand-in-hand with China.
China’s reported change in policy is attributed to economics and an aging population. The massive drop in working-age people is harming economic growth, and the tipping scales of elderly people places unsustainable burdens on the economy and families, the basic social institution for individual well-being.
Wang would not say when the new policy would begin, and each province will decide. Since the enforcers in each province benefit from the one-child policy, financially and with the ability to exert brute power over others, there is little hope that this change is not mere words to ease international embarrassment.
We’ll know China makes a serious change when the government abolishes all fines for any pregnancies/births and harshly punishes kidnapping/baby selling. This would dry up billions of dollars in incentives for the enforcers. (In just 19 provinces, some in the poorest parts of the country, an estimated $2.7 billion was collected in fines.)
Along with that, eliminating all punishments/penalties for any child, and discarding the family planning regime, which is so rife with corruption and abuse it cannot be redeemed.
Praising herself, insulting her opponents, telling lies: Edite Estrela makes a second attempt to get her report on “sexual rights” adopted
Posted on | November 12, 2013 by J.C. von Krempach, J.D.
Following the defeat of her report on “sexual and reproductive health and rights”, Edite Estrela, an ultra-feminist Member of the European Parliament, is back in the offensive. In an article in this week’s edition of “Parliament Magazine”, the European Parliament’s in-house newspaper, she prepares the ground for a second attempt to get the controversial report adopted by the Parliament’s Plenary.
As readers of this blog will recall, the Plenary, in its session of 22 October, had decided to send back the report to the Parliament’s Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, from where it had originated. This clearly reflected the majority’s view that this report was so evidently ill-drafted that it could not possibly be subject to a vote. At the same time, this decision gives an opportunity to the Committee to improve the drafting prior to submitting it to the plenary for a second time. The message is quite clear: there is support for proposals that would really improve health, but there is no support for Mrs. Estrela’s attempt to promote abortion, curtail the freedom of conscience of medical practitioners, and impose on parents a duty to instruct their 0-4 year old children how to masturbate.
Thus, the Committee should now make a serious effort to take into account the criticism that was voiced against the report, and seek for compromises. It could remove the reference to the controversial document on “Sexual Education” in which one finds the recommendation that 0-4 year olds should be taught how to masturbate, and it could acknowledge that true sexual education includes moral principles that help children to later become good wives and husbands, and that a stable marriage is the best basis for a happy family life. It could clarify that “freedom of choice” is not for women alone: in countries where abortion is permitted, medical practitioners must have at least the freedom of choice not to be involved in abortions, without having to fear the loss of their jobs and livelihoods. It could clarify that the right to life is a fundamental human right, and that every human being is a bearer of that right, beginning from the moment of conception. It should acknowledge that fertility and pregnancy are not diseases, and that abortion is not a “therapy”.
But alas, Mrs. Estrela’s article in “Parliament Magazine” shows that no constructive effort is to be expected from her, nor from the other Committee Members who approved her original draft. The strategy is confrontation, not compromise, and she apparently hopes to muster support for her abortionist-pansexualist agenda by bullying and insulting all those who happen to have other views than hers, rather than by working on a text that really reflects the opinions of the European Parliament.
Here are some excerpts from Mrs. Estrela’s prose, to which we have added some comments:
“Due to a grubby alliance of the Right and Far-Right groups, namely the EFD, the ECR, non-attached MEPs and some of the EPP, the report was referred back to committee, where a new vote will have to take place. As I had the opportunity to state during the vote, this makes little sense, as the parliament’s women’s rights and gender equality committee members voted largely in favour of the report the first time and the same thing is very likely to happen again.”
Instead of offering arguments to convince those who failed to support her text, Mrs. Estrela fires insults at them: they are “grubby, far-right politicians” whose action “make little sense”. It also becomes clear that she will make no constructive attempt to improve her draft. Instead, she seems to think that if her report gets a majority in the Women’s Rights Committee, the Parliament’s plenary will be (at least morally) obliged to adopt it. This reveals a rather poor understanding of the Parliament’s procedures, which, given what happened two weeks ago, is rather astonishing. Mrs. Estrela is apparently unwilling to learn from experience.
“Some MEPs preferred to defer the decision despite having the opportunity to take a stand on such an important issue, only a few months before the European elections. How can these MEPs explain to voters that they don’t permit access to safe abortion even in cases of rape or when the life of the woman is at risk? How will they justify that they are against comprehensive sexual education in school, when there is evidence that it contributes to reducing teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs)?”
This passage misinforms readers both with regard to the content of Mrs. Estrela’s draft and with regard to the criticism that was voiced against it. In actual fact, the draft does not limit itself to calling for “access to safe abortion in cases of rape or when the life of the woman is at risk”, but it calls for a full-fledged right to “abortion on demand”. At the same time, it is wrong to say that her opponents are “against comprehensive sexual education in school”. The truth is that the ill-fated report called for “compulsory sexual orientation in- and outside school”, and the documents it referenced deal with the education of children below school age, suggesting (inter alia) that children aged should be taught about masturbation, or that parents should be obliged to tell their children that they should have a “non-judgmental attitude” towards sexuality, which actually implies that they should put their sexuality to whatever purpose they like, as long as it feels good. By bringing forward such ideas, Mrs. Estrela not only disrespects an important human right (namely the right of parents to be the first and foremost educators of their children, which is recognized without exception in all major human rights treaties, and in particular Art. 2 of the 1st Protocol of the European Human Rights Convention!), but she also promotes the opposite of what she claims to be promoting. The “sexual education” she is advocating in fact is the opposite of education. Mrs. Estrela and her crowd reduce “sexual education” to encouraging children to masturbate and informing them about the correct use of condoms and contraceptives, but they would be the first to oppose any attempt of parents to provide to children a value-based education, in which information on sexuality is linked to the purpose of founding stable marriages and happy families.
No, Mrs. Estrela cannot claim that she is promoting “comprehensive sexual education”. It is actually her opponents who advocate comprehensive education, whereas Mrs. Estrela is promoting a reductionist and irresponsible “anti-education”, which indeed is likely to increase rather than reduce the risk of teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. If we wanted more teenage pregnancies and STIs, then Mrs. Estrela’s report certainly would show us the way how to get there.
But instead of engaging in rational argument, Mrs. Estrela prefers to continue with her name-calling:
“Many lies have been told regarding the content of the report, due to a very aggressive campaign led by the most conservative movements in Europe. The opposition to the report exceeded the boundary of rationality and common sense. If this was the reaction to a resolution, what would have happened if it had been a legislative initiative?”
So, those who have dared to oppose her enlightened views have been “exceeding the boundaries of rationality and common sense”, waging a “very aggressive campaign” and “telling many lies”? Unfortunately, Mrs. Estrela fails to provide any example for those “lies” and “irrationality”, so we are left to guess. From various sources it has transpired that she was upset about a briefing that exposed the implications of the “sexual education” she was promoting, and which has apparently cost her report the support even of many leftist and liberal MEPs. However, as we have set out in sufficient detail here and in a previous post, this was (unfortunately!) not a lie, but the sad truth. Rather than accusing us of lies, Mrs. Estrela might take the time to read her own draft report (which allegedly was not drafted by herself, but by the lobbyists of IPPF). Does Edite really know what is in her text? At least now, before bringing it to the Plenary for a second time, she should study it with greater care…
But while Mr. Estrela does not hesitate to use harsh words on all others, it does not seem to occur to her that she might herself be to blame. On the contrary:
“This report provides a very in-depth analysis of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights…”
Oh, does it really? Is there really nothing that could be improved?
Towards the end of her short article, Mrs. Estrela sets the focus on what must be seen as the real purpose of her non-binding report: the removal of all legal and factual obstacles for an unrestricted access to abortion. (With this, she contradicts her previous assertion that her report was only about “access to safe abortion in cases of rape or when the life of the woman is at risk”.)
“It must be noted that barriers to abortion services are also being increasingly imposed in countries even with permissive abortion laws. In the main, women have to face the unregulated use of conscientious objection of reproductive healthcare providers, mandatory waiting periods or biased counselling. Doctor’s practice of conscientious objection has denied many women access to reproductive health services, such as information about, access to, and purchase of contraception, prenatal testing, and lawful interruption of pregnancy.”
Once again, the self-described “pro-choice” lobby actually turns out to be anti-choice. The fact that people want to act according to their well-informed consciences appears to be something that Mrs. Estrela finds impossible to accept. Thus, as one might have expected, she finally plays what she thinks is her trump card: the old abortionist myth that restrictive laws on abortion cause the death of women.
“In some cases, these situations have led to tragic endings. In moments like this, it is important to remember Savita Halappanavar’s death, a week after her admission to hospital, focusing international attention on Ireland’s abortion laws. We cannot allow women to continue to die because they cannot access to legal and safe abortion services or because there is unregulated use of conscientious objection.”
So far, I have been careful not to call Edite Estrela a liar. Personalities like she are so imbibed by their ideology that they tend to lose contact to reality and wind up living in a world of their own making. One must therefore always give them the credit that they subjectively believe that what they say is true, even if it has nothing to do with any verifiable facts. And even though Edite herself does not hesitate (see above) to accuse all her critics of “telling many lies” without even attempting to specify those lies, I think there is no necessity for anyone to retort in this style.
But the absurd claim that the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar in an Irish Hospital cannot anymore be justified by mere lack of better knowledge. The incident has been investigated probably more thoroughly than any death of any other woman in Europe in the last thirty years. The results of the investigation have been published and are in the public sphere; they are just a few mouse clicks away on the internet. The truth is: Mrs. Halappanavar was pregnant, and she died while she was in hospital. But her death was not caused by her pregnancy (or rather: any complication related to it), nor would an abortion have saved her life. Moreover, if her life could have been saved only through an abortion, the legislation then in place in Ireland would have allowed it. Mrs. Estrela’s claim that Mrs. Halappanavar died because she had no access to abortion, or because there was unregulated use of conscientious objection, is thus doubly wrong: first, because it misrepresents the facts of the case, and secondly, because it misrepresents the legal situation in Ireland.
This incident having been the subject of so intense media coverage, as well as of a thorough and impartial criminal investigation, there is by now no excuse left for not knowing the real facts. There is nothing to oblige Mrs. Estrela to speak of Savita Halappanavar – but if she does, she should first avail herself of all relevant information. Unfortunately, there is no reason to believe that her failure to do so is mere carelessness. Instead, there is every reason to believe that she knows that her claims are not true, but that that she continues making those claims against better knowledge. For this, I think Mrs. Estrela deserves to be called a liar, even on a public forum like this one.
The question is, why do politicians like Edite Estrela (and her likeminded colleagues Michael “Blitzkrieg” Cashman and Ulrike Lunacek) continue making assertions about Savita Halappanavar’s death, which they must by now perfectly well know to be false? Why do they so strongly insist on this stupid lie, which is so easily exposed simply by looking at the results of the investigation?
The answer is: if they could promote their abortionist-homosexualist agenda without such lies, I presume they’d most gladly do so. If they knew of any other case that could be used for their propaganda, they would use that one, not the case of Savita Halappanavar. But they do not know of such cases. In reality, there are no such cases. Nought. Zero. Nada. Neither in Ireland, nor anywhere else, do women die because of restrictive abortion laws. In particular, there is no known case, not a single one, be it in Ireland or elsewhere, where an abortion could have saved a woman’s life, but was not provided as a result of conscientious objection. Ireland is one of the countries with the lowest incidence of maternal mortality world-wide. So is Chile, another country with restrictive abortion laws.
By contrast, many women die, or are severely injured, as a result of botched abortions. But these are more likely to occur in countries where abortion is legal, or where restrictive abortion laws aren’t enforced.
The claim that the legalization of abortion will lead to lower incidences of maternal mortality is just a myth, for which there is not only no proof, but which is clearly contradicted by all available evidence. And I suppose Mrs. Estrela is perfectly aware of this. Her assertions are not made in good faith.
This is also why her rhetoric is so aggressive and uncompromising. She knows perfectly well that engaging in a constructive and fact-oriented debate would mean to blow up the whole edifice of lies and ideology that her draft report represents. Therefore, reason and facts are just not an option for her.
How will this saga continue? We will keep you informed.
Posted on | November 12, 2013 by J.C. von Krempach, J.D.
While it is still possible that some further form-sheets with signatures will reach the organisers, one may assume that by now, ten days after the deadline for signatures, no significant increase is to be expected any more. It is therefore time to look at the outcome of the initiative and draw some conclusions.
According to the latest calculations published today, the initiative “One of Us” has received the support of 1.894.693 citizens, which, by a narrow margin of roughly 10.000 signatures, places it on top of all European Citizens’ Initiatives (ECIs) that have been concluded so far. In other words, it is now clear that the protection of the right to life as from conception is the first and most important among the concerns that European citizens want to bring to the attention of their politicians. It would be a devastating blow to the EU’s ambition to get rid of its “democratic deficit” if this clear and unequivocal message remained without consequences.
If one takes a closer look at the other two initiatives that have surpassed the threshold of 1 million signatures, the outstanding success of “One of Us” becomes even more impressive. The runners-up are an initiative called “The Water Campaign”, which, opposing alleged plans to liberalise the market for water services, has collected close to 1.885.000 signatures, and “Stop Vivisection”, an initiative to prohibit animal testing, with 1.126.005 signatures. All other ECIs registered so far have received far less than 1 million signatures. Among the three successful campaigns, however, “One of Us” reached the minimum quota of support in 20 of the EU’s 28 Member States, whereas “The Water Campaign” achieved this success only in 13 Member States, and “Stop Vivisection” in 11. Furthermore, the success of the other two campaigns was based to a very large extent on the mobilisation of supporters in one single Member State: 1.382.195 signatures for “The Water Campaign” (i.e. more than 73% of all signatures collected by this initiative!) stem from Germany alone, and 570.400 signatures for “Stop Vivisection” (more than 50%) were collected in Italy. Both initiatives would thus have far less than 1 million signatures if one subtracted the signatures from the single Member State in which they had their best results. By contrast, “One of Us” is a truly European success: even if one subtracted all the signatures that have been collected in Italy (631.024) and Poland (248.965), the two countries where the greatest number of signatures were collected, the initiative still would have been successful.
We note thus with satisfaction that “One of Us” is the EU’s most successful citizens’ initiative in every respect, and that, with all due respect, Europeans find the protection of human lives more important than the protection of animals’ lives (which, as we don’t hesitate to say, is also important).
But there is another important difference.
Among the three successful initiatives, “One of Us” is the only one that comes along with a ready-made legislative proposal that is (a) realistic, and (b) compatible with EU Law. With regard to “Stop Vivisection”, we have already explained our doubts in a previous post on this blog: if animal testing were to be completely prohibited, the alternatives would be to place new medical, chemical, or cosmetic products on the market without having tested them, or to test them on human beings, both of which is dangerous and unrealistic. With regard to “The Water Campaign” one has reason to ask whether the political (in-)action proposed by that initiative stands not in contradiction to its stated purposes: there are plenty of examples that demonstrate how in many countries the liberalization of water services has actually improved both the quality and the availability of those services. Moreover, the EU simply has no competence to prevent a Member State from liberalizing or privatizing water services – and there even is room for doubt whether water utilities can be exempted from the free circulation of services, which is one of the EU’s foundational principles.
By contrast, the proposal promoted by “One of Us” simply consists in modifying the EU’s Financial Regulation in a way that would forestall the financing of research projects that imply the destruction of human embryos, and the funding of abortions in developing countries through the EU development aid budget. This proposal could be implemented immediately, and without major difficulties. There is absolutely no need for the EU to fund research projects that (a) are highly unlikely to lead to any therapeutic use and that (b) in any case, according to the Brüstle vs. Greenpeace decision of the European Court of Justice, cannot lead to results that could be exploited economically, given that the patenting of inventions using such techniques is prohibited. Even less is there any need for the EU to fund abortions carried out by Planned Parenthood and Marie Stopes International in developing countries. Or do we have to assume that the real purpose of this type of “development aid” is to reduce the number of people who, ten or twenty years from now, might try to migrate to Europe?
The proposal made by “One of Us” has the further merit that its implementation would save the EU considerable amounts of money that could be put to better use. Instead of funding abortions, the development aid budget might be used to fund schools, irrigation, streets, and other important projects that actually improve the lives of people, instead of taking lives. The research budget might be used to fund research on adult stem cells, which, contrary to the controversial research projects on embryos, have already yielded a wealth of possible therapeutic uses.
Thus, while there are reasons for caution with regard to the other two initiatives, there is absolutely no excuse for the EU institutions not to implement the proposals made by “One of Us”.
Posted on | November 11, 2013 by Lisa Correnti
“The CRPD does not advance the national interests of the United States and infringes on our rights as a sovereign nation,” wrote Pete Hegseth in a letter to the Senate Foreign Relations committee.
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is being considered again in the Senate. Last year ratification failed by 5 votes.
Hegseth, CEO of Concerned Veterans for America, addressed the use of disabled veterans for political gain as “appalling.”
“The proponents of CRPD have used disabled American veterans to illustrate hypothetical benefits abroad, while failing to show actual and concrete benefits. This approach is nothing short of shaming lawmakers to vote a certain way by blatantly exploiting our country’s love of veterans. Veterans deserve better. We did not fight to defend our country to serve as props in an effort to undermine.”
AMVETS, a group that previously supported CRPD, also penned a letter to the committee withdrawing their support after further examination of the treaty.
“AMVETS does not believe that passage of the CRPD would have any measurable, positive effects on veterans with disabilities travelling or serving abroad,” wrote Diane Zamalto, AMVETS Legislative Director.
In the Foreign Relations committee hearing last week experts warned that ratification could expand abortion rights and infringe on parents rights to make decisions for their disabled children.
A second hearing is scheduled for November 21.
Posted on | November 7, 2013 by J.C. von Krempach, J.D.
Political correctness requires its tribute: whenever it comes to issues related to homosexuality, law courts seem to lose all their senses. The outcome is at times ridiculous, at times outright dangerous.
The newest judgment of the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) falls into that latter category. It affirms that “being homosexual” is a ground for obtaining asylum in the EU, if homosexual acts are punishable in the asylum seeker’s country of origin. The judgment is the CJEU’s reply to a preliminary question asked by the Dutch Raad van State in view of three asylum seekers from Sierra Leone, Uganda, and the Senegal who affirmed to be homosexual.
The judgment’s obvious flaw is that it fails to make a distinction between, on the one hand, feeling attracted to a person of the same sex, and, on the other hand, committing homosexual acts. While committing homosexual acts is subject to criminal prosecution as an act of gross indecency in many countries, one has never heard of any country where “being homosexual” is considered an offence.
But how can anyone actually “be” homosexual? The Court seems to adhere to the completely un-scientific and unproven myth that homosexuality is an innate characteristic of the persons affected by it, as if it were genetically pre-determined. That is of course absolute bogus, and this alone is sufficient to question the validity of the Court’s conclusions. The judgment is underpinned by a clumsy and careless interpretation of the auxiliary verb “to be”: one “is” not homosexual in the same sense as one is a man, a woman, an elderly or a disabled person. And if as a ground for obtaining asylum it is sufficient to be part of “a particular social group” that is specifically targeted by criminal laws, could not the same be said of paedophiles (given that the APA now considers paedophilia, like homosexuality, as a “sexual orientation”), or of thieves and bank robbers, or of the Sicilian mafia?
Committing homosexual acts is a deliberate choice, from which one can abstain. The question therefore is not whether homosexuals form “a particular social group”, but whether it is reasonable for legislators in third countries to criminalize homosexual acts, and whether the desire to commit homosexual acts without risk of punishment should be considered sufficient as a ground for asylum.
This raises also some important practical questions which the CJEU appears not to have considered. In particular, it should be noted that the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA), in a report issued some years ago, has made the claim that it amounted to “inhuman and degrading treatment”, and was therefore not admissible, to subject asylum seekers who claimed to be homosexuals to tests that had the purpose of verifying whether that assertion was true. Of course, one might object that the FRA is a quango with a dubious reputation whose legal opinions are not binding. And indeed, setting aside the question of whether they were inhuman and humiliating, there are also serious reasons to doubt whether the kind of tests that were condemned by the FRA is really apt to prove or disprove a person’s homosexuality. But it remains that today’s CJEU judgment gives no hint whatsoever how an asylum seeker’s claim to “be homosexual” could ever be verified. Apparently it suffices to just make the claim, and any attempt of Member State’s authorities to verify it will be dubbed as “inhuman”.
With this judgment, therefore, the CJEU seems to have created a 100% safe way of obtaining asylum in the EU, illustrating once more the systemic risk that is associated with conferring too much power to a disconnected and aloof judiciary that spends no thoughts on the potential impacts of its decisions. I just wonder what will happen when word of this newest judicial aberration will spread, as is bound to happen within a few days, beyond the Sahel zone. Will Europe soon be flooded by wannabe homosexuals?
Posted on | November 7, 2013 by Lisa Correnti
Next week family planning and abortion advocates will come out in force for an International Family Planning conference co-hosted by Ethiopia’s Ministry of Health and Bill and Melinda Gates Institute for Population.
The 3-day conference opens in Addis Ababa with the theme “Full Access—Full Choice.” Stakeholders will present on greater access to abortion and how to scale up delivery of the harmful injectable contraceptive Depo Provera to women of color – with a new push to adolescent girls.
These confabs are now occurring annually due to the big money Melinda Gates, the U.S., and European governments have committed to international family planning which has siphoned money from maternal and child heath programs. Abortion groups like International Planned Parenthood and Marie Stopes now receive millions to distribute this dangerous contraceptive in less developed countries.
This so-called contraceptive of “choice” promoted by population control enthusiasts carries a “black-box warning” issued by the manufacturer after million dollar lawsuits were brought against Pfizer in the U.S. and Canada. It is not recommended for use over 2 years due to the complications associated with severe osteoporosis. Studies have also indicated depo users to double their risk for breast cancer and be high risk to contract or transmit HIV.
The WSJ recently reported on the breast cancer surge in Africa causing an increase in mortality due to the later stage in which it is diagnosed and limited opportunities for treatment.
Kwame Fosu, policy director for the Rebecca Project has sounded the alarm on the targeting of women of color for Depo Provera use. Fosu says that in countries where women are counseled on the side effects of Depo they do not opt for the shot.
It is highly unethical for the U.S. to fund the distribution of this and other substandard contraceptives to poor women overseas – like Jadelle – (Norplant 2) also rejected by American women.
Congressman Chris Smith will hold a congressional hearing to examine the Unethical Medical Practices in Africa on December 3, 2013 in the House subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Global Human Rights.
Citizens’ Initiative: In the EU there is “too much democracy, too little bureaucracy”, according to disgruntled anti-life lobby
Posted on | November 6, 2013 by J.C. von Krempach, J.D.
The overwhelming success for the European Citizens’ Initiative “One of Us“, which calls for the EU to stop funding abortions, continues provoking strange (and at times rather laughable) reactions from a shocked and angered abortionist lobby.
The latest such comment stems from the website of the Humanistischer Pressedienst (i.e. the “Humanist Press Service”), a German-language internet outlet of radical atheists. “Humanism” in Europe is a self-chosen euphemism used by militant opponents of human rights (such as the right to life, the freedom of religion, the freedom of conscience, etc.) to describe their anti-human world views.
In a recent post on the Pressedienst’s website, the defeat of the controversial “Estrela Report” in the European Parliament is framed as “a scandal involving the ‘One of Us’ initiative”. Obviously, the “humanists” find it scandalous that anyone not sharing their views should be allowed to utter his opinions, or to win a vote in parliament.
Further on in the post one can read that, if a citizen’s initiative such as “One of Us” can be so successful, the remedy is to change the rules for citizen’s initiative in order to prevent this from happening again. The current rules for such initiatives are “too simple, and too un-bureaucratic”.
Thus, while the overwhelming majority of citizens and politicians are concerned about the EU’s democratic deficit, the anti-life lobby is concerned about too much democracy. Of course, this is not surprising: rejection of human rights and rejection of democracy go hand in hand, and one would never have expected any other attitude from the self-proclaimed candle bearers of “enlightenment”. But it is new, and quite revelatory, that they make such statements in public. Their annoyance at discovering that their ideology is not shared by many must be very great.« go back — keep looking »