Bits & Pieces

Canada

Campaign Life Coalition endorsed Jason Kenney for the leadership of the United Conservative Party of Alberta … On Oct. 6, Health Canada released its second interim report on assisted suicide, which showed that from January to June 2017, 1,179 people died by euthanasia and assisted suicide. This brings the total number of deaths to 2,149 since Quebec began allowing euthanasia in December 2015. There was an increase of nearly 47 per cent in the first six months of 2017 compared to the last six months of 2016. Toujours Vivant – Not Dead Yet noted that the numbers represent 0.9 per cent of all deaths in Canada, higher than the percentage of deaths in Oregon (0.37 per cent) but lower than Belgium (1.83 per cent) and the Netherlands (3.75 per cent) … UAlberta Pro-Life announced it would appeal the ruling of the Alberta Queen’s Bench which upheld the decision of the University of Alberta to impose a $17,500 security fee as a condition for the pro-life club to set up a display on campus. UAlberta Pro-life past president Amberlee Nicol said in a statement, “we thought a university would be a safe space to share and debate ideas, but the University silenced us and condoned obstruction and vandalism of our property” … Dawn Fowler, executive director of the Vancouver Island Women’s Clinic, wrote in the Globe and Mail calling for the end to all barriers to accessing the abortion pill Mifegymiso. Fowler said it the costs should be covered by the provincial health plan and the drug be distributed in the community, not hospital formularies. She questioned the NDP government’s commitment to choice and gender equity if it doesn’t make Mifegymiso universally accessible.

United States

A draft plan by the Department of Health and Human Services states that the federal department will be “serving and protecting Americans at every stage of life, beginning at conception.” There are also repeated references to “natural death.” Barack Obama’s HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius complained “conception and natural death — that’s not the legal standard for anybody.” Republican Senator Ted Cruz (Texas) tweeted his support of the proposed plan: “Each life is a gift from God. Encouraged to see @HHS recognize that life begins at conception.” Planned Parenthood issued a statement saying the administration plans to go after birth control … The Department of Justice issued a memo directing all federal government departments to make preserving religious liberty a priority even if it means violating anti-discrimination laws against LGBTQ … Playboy announced that Ines Rau would be the magazine’s first transgender centerfold and cover playmate. The first transgender model to appear in the magazine’s pages was Caroline Cossey in 1981, but it was not revealed that “Tula” was born male until she came out as transgender in 1991.

International

UK Education Minister Justine Greening said the Gender Recognition Act would remove the need for a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria before someone can officially change gender on government-issued documents. Prime Minster Theresa May told the Pink News awards on Oct. 18 that her government was “streamlining and demedicalicing the process for changing gender because being trans is not an illness” … The Sunday Times reported that May’s government has proposed an amendment is to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to replace the term “expectant mothers” with “pregnant people.” The Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s submission suggests the change to avoid excluding “transgender people who have given birth.” An FCO spokesman said: “We strongly support the right to life of pregnant women, and we have requested that the Human Rights Committee does not exclude pregnant transgender people from that right to life” … Unherd’s Melanie McDonagh reports that Irish abortion supporters are using social media to shame hotels that host pro-life events. Already three hotels including the Aisling in Dublin have refused to host pro-life rallies to avoid online shame campaigns. McDonagh also reports that the George Soros Foundation has given three pro-abortion groups a total of $400,000 to lobby for the Eighth Amendment repeal campaign (the Eighth Amendment, enacted in 1983, gives equal constitutional protection to mother and preborn child). The current Taoiseach (prime minister) Leo Vardker, has promised a referendum of the Eighth Amendment next May or June … Despite the National Party besting the Labour Party 44.4 per cent to 36.9 per cent on Sept. 23, last month the New Zealand Labour, Green, and New Zealand First parties formed a coalition government with 37-year-old Labour leader Jacinda Ardern as Prime Minister. The pro-life and pro-family group Family First reports that both Ardern and Green leader James Shaw support removing abortion from the criminal code – Ardern made it a central part of her campaign platform; Shaw supports legalizing same-sex adoption and Ardern supports legalizing euthanasia. NZ First leader Peter Winston does not share his coalition partners’ socially liberal positions and would insist that votes on moral issues be matters of conscience.

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