Bits & Pieces
The trial of Don Spratt and Cecilia (Sissy) von Dehn, charged in June 2009 with breeching British Columbia’s Access to Abortion Services Act, will continue on March 16. Four days of hearing in October 2010 were insufficient to hear all the testimony. The law prohibits pro-life witnessing within 50 meters of an abortion facility, and von Dehn was carrying a sign that notified passers-by of the existence of the bubble zone prohibiting free speech. Police had previously told her the signs were permissible … A poll by Angus Reid found that 63 per cent of Canadians are generally in favour of legalizing euthanasia. Although 46 per cent of Canadians would not allow a parent to euthanize a child suffering from a severe condition, 74 per cent support granting Robert Latimer full parole … The National Post reported on the growing trend of “selective reduction” involving a mother pregnant with twins choosing to abort of of them and which the paper says “has become increasingly common in the past two decades amid a boom in the number of multiple pregnancies.” Selective reduction has long been known to be carried out in pregnancies involving pregnancies with triplets (or more), usually in women who became pregnant through artificial insemination, where multiple fetuses increases health risks to the mother, but the Post reports that increasingly women pregnant with twins are eliminating one child due to economic considerations … On Dec. 15, the Quebec Ministry of Education confirmed that a new sex education curriculum is in the works on the same day that the province’s Commission on Culture and Education submitted a report in the National Assembly calling on the government to implement a mandatory sex education program beginning in the preschool years. Georges Buscemi, president of Campaigne Quebec-Vie, said, “This decision is profoundly anti-family since it usurps the authority of the parents” … The Canadian Civil Liberties Association sent a letter to the Waterloo Region Public School Board insisting that it stop its long-standing tradition of distributing free Bibles to families of Grade 5 students that want one because, according to the CCLA, it “forces parents to make a religious statement in a public school setting”
Pete and Alisha Arnold admitted that the BirthOrNot website they ran was a hoax. The couple claimed they were conflicted about whether to have a baby and put the issue to a vote over the internet. Pete Arnold said he was only trying to initiate a discussion about abortion … Planned Parenthood Federation of America released its 2008-2009 Annual Report, but it does not state how many abortions they committed, adoptions were referred or total number of prenatal clients local PP affiliates saw. However, a Fact Sheet released in September said that the group had carried out 324,008 abortions and referred women for adoptions to other agencies a total of 2,405 times. The PPFA report stated that it had received $363 million in government grants and contracts … Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter said in an interview with the Big Think website that the United States should elect a gay president: “I don’t know about the next election, but I think in the near future.” He said that after electing a black president, the next step in equality is homosexuals … Democrats used the lame-duck session of Congress after the November elections, but before the newly elected members were sworn-in, to repeal the military’s don’t ask, don’t tell policy which permitted closeted homosexuals to serve in the American armed forces. Under the new policy, openly gay and lesbian soldiers can serve. Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, said, “By making this change, and putting it as a priority over the actual funding of the troops, Congress is choosing to use the military, not as a tool for national defense, but as an instrument of social engineering.”
The Scottish Parliament rejected the legalizing of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide in a 85-17 vote. The “End of Life Assistance” bill would have given blanket immunity for any person who provides “end of life assistance” including the “provision” (assisted suicide) or “administration” (euthanasia) of appropriate means, to enable a person to die. Scottish Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said: “I personally find myself particularly concerned and fundamentally concerned about the difficulty I think would always and inevitably be present in determining that someone choosing to end their life had not been subjected to undue influence” … Seniors groups in Australia are calling for the establishment of a toll-free elder abuse hotline. Lillian Jeter, executive director of the Elder Abuse Prevention Association called for mandatory reporting legislation which would compel carers and health professionals to report any suspected abuse and added: “the first step has to be 1-800 lines that people can call if they see something” … Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, used Human Rights Day to declare the administration’s intent to re-insert “sexual orientation” into a General Assembly resolution condemning “Extrajudicial, Summary, or Arbitrary Executions” even though the U.S. has not voted on the resolution in more than a decade.