Bits & Pieces

Canada

Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin announced she will retire from the Supreme Court of Canada in December after 28 years on the top court. During her 17-year tenure as Chief Justice, the Supreme Court okayed the Chretien government’s plans to legalize same-sex ‘marriage’ and deemed as unconstitutional laws outlawing prostitution and euthanasia … Joyce Arthur, executive director of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada, condemned B.C. Liberal Premier Christie Clark’s appointment of pro-life Mary Polak as Health Minister. Arthur said “to appoint someone who is basically against an integral part of women’s health care to the Ministry of Health is a conflict of interest and completely inappropriate.” The Liberals were re-elected on May 9 but with a plurality of seats. The NDP and Greens defeated the Liberal Throne Speech on June 29. The NDP will now form government with the support of the Greens … Defend Dignity condemned the standing House of Commons committee on health’s “Report on the Public Health Effects of the Ease of Access and Viewing of Online Violent and Degrading Sexually Explicit Material on Children.” The anti-pornography group said it was “deeply disappointed” that the committee ignored expert testimony from the likes of Gail Dines and Lianna McDonald who said that education alone is insufficient to protect children from the harms of pornography. The report focuses on education and says ultimately responsibility to protect children from pornographic images rests with parents. Defend Dignity said it hoped the report would recommend meaningful age verification, internet providers block pornographic websites unless customers opted-in for such material, and recognition that pornography is a public health issue … As part of a settlement with a student, the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board agreed with an Ontario Human Rights Tribunal recommendation to drop a requirement for students requesting exemptions to religion classes to provide a reason. Claudia Sorgini claims she was a victim of discrimination and reprisals when she requested an exemption from religion classes and activities in her graduating year. The OHRT also requires the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association to communicate the remedy to all separate school boards in the province.

United States

Vox published a leak draft regulation from the Office of Management and Budget that would suggest President Donald Trump’s administration will allow employers to opt out of providing birth control as part of employee benefits. The (Obamacare) requires that employee health coverage includes birth control as part of “preventive services.” The National Women’s Law Center said it will file a lawsuit if “women are going to lose no-cost birth control coverage” … Rep. Trent Franks (R, Arizona) said if the final version of the Senate’s bill that replaces portions of Obamcare does not defund Planned Parenthood, it will blow efforts to pass healthcare reform “to smithereens” … The Seattle Storma Women’s National Basketball Association team, designated July 18 a “Stand with Planned Parenthood” day with a pro-abortion rally and fundraising auction. Furthermore, the team will give $5 of every ticket purchase to Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands.  Team co-owner Dawn Trudeau explained “obviously, we are progressives” and “we are pretty confident that our fans would respond in a positive way.”

International

The United Nation’s Human Rights Committee condemned Irelands abortion laws which ostensibly outlaw the procedure unless a mother’s life is at risk. It ruled in favour of Siobhan Whelan who was denied an abortion after her preborn child was diagnosed with a fatal fetal impairment in 2010. It called upon Ireland to legalize the procedure and  “provide effective, timely, and accessible abortion services. When Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited Ireland on July 4, he talked to new Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadker about abortion. Trudeau spokesman Cameron Ahmad said “the issue of woman’s right to choose and access to reproductive care was raised,” but provided no specifics. Varadker calls himself pro-life and opposes changes to Ireland’s abortion law, but after meeting Trudeau proudly declared himself a feminist … Germany became the 23rd country to legalize same-sex “marriage” when its parliament voted 393-226  to recognize such unions. Chancellor Angela Merkel has opposed holding a vote on changing the definition of marriage, but surprised political allies and opponents alike when she announced a week before the June 30 vote she would not block the vote and she would allow members of her Christian Democrats to vote their conscience. Her political opponents still attacked her, with Social Democrat General Secretary Hubertus Heil, who supports same-sex “marriage,” saying she was “cowardly” for allowing a free vote, claiming it lacked “conviction” … The World Health Organization called a new “superbug” of drug-resistant gonorrhea a “serious situation” because with an estimated 78 million people worldwide contract some form of gonorrhea each year and if untreated it can cause infertility and increased risk of contracting HIV.

 

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